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^  M2-..  .'^e«^>,..  ^.&. 



"^^  THE    LIFE    OF 



BY   HIS    SON 



"  Not  only  to  believe  oti  Him^  but  also  to  suffer  for  His  sake,  having 
the  same  conflict  which  ye  saw  in  me,  and  7tow  hear  to  be  in  me." 

VOL.    I. 

MACMILLAN    AND    CO.,    Limited 


[All  A'iif/i/s  ieserved'\ 

damijrtJge : 

PRINTED    BY  J.    AND    C.    F.    CLAY, 


O  -7 

To  My  Mother. 

To  her  who  loved  hint  best,  whom  he  loved  best ; 
To  her,  who  gave  her  life  to  guard,  to  tend, 
To  comfort ;   loving  wife,  deep- hearted  friend. 

True  comrade,  to  the  threshold  of  his  rest : — 

Not  with  unreasoning  worship  softly  drest 

To  please  his  mood,  but  subtly  wise  to  blend 
Large  love  with  tender  counsel^  to  unbend 

The  anxious  brow,  and  cheer  the  labouring  breast. 

Therefore,  because  to-day  the  sacred  fires 
Of  Love  and  Loss  btirn  gently,  fragrantly, 
I  who  have  drawn  his  likeness,  drawn  with  tears. 
Proud  tears,  and  infinite  longings,  great  desires, 
The  loving  labour  of  laborious  years 
In  love,  in  hope,  I  consecrate  to  thee. 




TT  THEN  I  was  beginning  to  consider  the  possibility 
'  '  of  writing  a  Memoir  of  my  father,  I  received  the 
following  letter  from  the  Bishop  of  Durham,  to  whom  a 
common  friend  had  written  saying  that  he  had  dissuaded 
me  from  attempting  it : — 

Auckland  Castle, 
Bishop  Auckland. 

Dec.  29,  1896. 
My  dear  Arthur, 

I  feel  very  strongly  that  it  would  be  almost 
'  impiety '  for  any  one  to  attempt  to  write  your  father's 
Life  but  yourself  The  work  comes  to  you  as  a  sacred 
charge.  Every  one  I  am  sure  who  has  knowledge  will  feel 
the  same. 

Forgive  me  for  writing.  It  will  be  a  great  and  difficult 
work,  but  it  is  your  work. 

Ever  yours  affectionately, 

B.  F.  DUNELM. 

These  words,  from  one  of  my  father's  oldest  and  dearest 
friends,  practically  removed  any  doubts  I  had  entertained 
on  the  subject.  I  accordingly  made  up  my  mind  to 
attempt  the  task.  I  have  been  marvellously  assisted  by 
certain    conditions;     (i)    by    the   perfect   order   in    which 

viii  PREFACE 

my  father  kept  his  letters  and  papers  ;  (2)  by  the  readiness 
with  which  his  friends  and  contemporaries  contributed 
their  recollections  ;  and  (3)  by  the  extreme  fulness  with 
which  in  later  days  he  wrote  in  his  Diary  the  daily 
events  of  his  life,  so  that  the  account  of  his  Primacy  is 
mainly  autobiographical ;  indeed,  the  existence  of  this 
Diary,  which  is  one  of  the  most  complete  and  candid 
documents  which  it  has  ever  been  my  lot  to  study,  made 
the  relation  of  the  years  of  his  Primacy  a  comparatively 
easy  task. 

I  may  perhaps  say  a  word  further  of  the  Diary :  not  a 
quarter  of  what  my  father  wrote  is  here  given :  for 
many  reasons  it  would  be  impossible,  consistently  with 
the  exercise  of  a  seemly  discretion,  to  publish  it  in  full 
in  the  present  generation ;  but  it  is  so  minute  in  detail, 
so  frankly  outspoken  in  criticism  and  appreciation,  and 
reveals  so  deep  a  devotion  and  so  eager  a  character,  that 
I  cannot  help  hoping  that  it  may  eventually  be  possible 
to  give  more  of  it  to  the  world. 

Up  till  the  time  of  his  acceptance  of  the  Primacy  my 
father  was  brought  into  connection  with  interesting  people, 
but  not  with  public  events ;  he  was  not  given  to  wasting 
much  time  in  ambitious  reveries  ;  the  work  that  he  was 
engaged  in,  the  position  that  he  occupied,  always,  most 
characteristically,  appeared  to  him  to  be  the  most  im- 
portant work  and  the  most  momentous  position  in 
England.  His  biography  is  simply  the  history  of  an 
intensely  vivid  nature,  touching  life  at  many  points — 
through  antiquity,  history,  art,  religion,  literature  and 
tradition,  and  throwing  itself  with  equal  ardour  into  all. 
The  day  was  never  long  enough  for  my  father,  and  even 
at  night  he  lived  in  fantastic  and  fiery  dreams. 


There  appeared  to  be  no  choice  between  slowly  and 
gradually  evolving  an  elaborate  work,  which  should  be 
a  minute  contribution  to  the  ecclesiastical  history  of  the 
time, — and  for  that  my  professional  life  as  well  as  my 
own  capacity  afforded  little  opportunity — and  sketching 
in  broad  outlines  and  rapid  strokes,  with  as  much  living 
detail  as  possible,  a  biographical  portrait.  I  have  there- 
fore not  hurried  the  reader  through  the  earlier  years,  in 
order  to  expand  the  more  eventful  scenes  of  the  Primacy, 
but  have  endeavoured  to  let  the  life  reveal  the  gradual 
growth  in  holiness,  in  purpose,  and  in  wisdom  which  by 
degrees  of  grace  fitted  my  father  to  wield  a  great  in- 
fluence, to  direct  a  huge  organisation,  and  to  inspire  potent 
ideals.  It  seemed  better  to  attempt  to  draw  as  careful  a 
picture  of  my  father's  life  and  character  as  possible,  and 
to  touch  on  events  through  the  medium  of  personality 
rather  than  reveal  personality  through  events  ;  and  it  has 
seemed  the  truest  piety  to  preserve  as  far  as  possible  the 
due  proportions  of  light  and  shade  in  the  biography  ;  if 
the  attitude  I  have  adopted  may  seem  almost  too  detached 
or  critical,  I  honoured  and  loved  my  father  too  much  to 
be  misunderstood  by  any  who  knew  what  our  relations 
were.  As  to  reticence,  I  hold  that  I  discharge  a  greater 
duty  by  drawing  a  true  picture  of  a  man  of  intense  vigour 
and  decision,  of  eager  life  and  lively  faith,  in  these  uncer- 
tain, frivolous  and  restless  days,  than  if  I  held  my  tongue 
and  allowed  his  radiant  example  to  appeal  only  to  the 
narrower  circle  of  those  whose  privilege  it  was  to  know 
and  love  that  stately  presence,  that  commanding  look, 
and  that  swift  and  generous  spirit  while  it  was  still  with 
us  on  earth. 

It  need  hardly  be  said  that  a  work  of  this  kind  could 


not  possibly  have  been  undertaken  or  carried  through 
without  the  cordial  sympathy  and  active  assistance  of  my 
father's  dear  friends  and  fellow-labourers.  I  enumerate 
below  a  few  of  those  to  whom  I  have  special  obligations, 
or  who  have  rendered  me  the  most  definite  help  ; — and  I 
cannot  express  my  gratitude  too  strongly  for  the  affectionate 
patience  with  which  they  have  answered  my  enquiries,  and 
for  the  eager  warmth  and  unfailing  sympathy  with  which 
they  have  met  me.  But  besides  those  to  whom  I  here 
express  my  particular  thanks,  there  are  innumerable  other 
friends  who  have  given  me  the  most  ready  and  willing  aid  ; 
and  I  can  only  express  my  regret  that  I  have  not  space 
to  extend  still  further  my  list  of  benefactors.  Of  my 
mother's  sympathy  and  assistance  this  is  perhaps  not  the 
place  to  speak,  but  any  reader  of  the  book  will  see  how 
much  I  owe  her  all  through  ;  and  I  may  also  add  that  I 
could  hardly  have  accomplished  my  task  at  all,  if  it  had 
not  been  for  the  loving  help  given  me  by  my  sister,  who 
has  not  only  offered  very  many  fruitful  suggestions,  but 
has  largely  cooperated  with  me  in  the  arrangement  and 
construction  of  the  second  volume. 

My  thanks  are  due  in  the  first  place  to  Her  Majesty 
the  Queen,  for  the  gracious  permission  accorded  me  to 
publish  both  letters  of  her  own  written  to  my  father,  and 
also  other  documents  ;  to  H.R.H.  the  Prince  of  Wales,  for 
a  similar  privilege  ;  to  the  Bishop  of  Winchester,  who  has 
given  me  the  most  generous  assistance  and  wise  criticism 
throughout ;  to  Canon  C.  B.  Hutchinson  and  Mr  Edmund 
Gosse,  who  have  seen  the  book  through  its  initial  stages, 
and  suggested  many  necessary  additions  and  corrections, 
besides  supplying  me  with  interesting  reminiscences ; 
to   Chancellor    Dibdin,  who   has    not   only   put   his    own 


essay  at  my  disposal,  but  has  given  me  much  help  of 
a  special  and  technical  kind.  For  valuable  contributions, 
careful  advice,  or  the  loan  of  important  letters,  to 
Adeline,  Duchess  of  Bedford,  the  Lady  Mabel  Lindsay, 
Miss  Wordsworth,  Miss  Susan  Wordsworth,  the  Rev. 
R.  M.  Moorsom,  Mr  Arthur  Coleridge,  Archdeacon 
Gifford,  Mr  H.  Lee  Warner,  Professor  Henry  Sidgwick, 
the  Rev.  Arthur  Carr,  Mr  E.  M.  Oakeley,  the  Rev. 
Walter  Moyle,  the  Dean  of  Lincoln,  the  Dean  of  West- 
minster, the  Bishop  of  Durham,  the  Bishop  of  St  Asaph, 
the  Bishop  of  St  Andrews,  the  Bishop  of  Salisbury,  the 
Dean  of  Rochester,  Canon  F.  E.  Carter,  the  Rev.  J.  A. 
Reeve,  of  Lambeth,  the  Rev.  Professor  Mason,  the  Arch- 
bishop of  York,  the  Archbishop  of  Capetown,  the  Lord 
Chancellor,  Viscount  Halifax,  the  Bishop  of  Wakefield, 
Bishop  Blyth,  the  Bishop  of  Natal,  Bishop  Macrorie,  Sir 
Richard  Webster,  Q.C.,  M.P.,  the  Right  Hon.  A.  J.  Balfour, 
M.P.,  the  Right  Hon.  Sir  Henry  Fowler,  M.P.,  Lord  Ash- 
combe,  Lord  Stanmore,  the  Right  Hon.  J.  G.  Talbot,  M.P., 
the  Hon.  W.  F.  D.  Smith,  M.P.,  Mr  H.  Picton,  M.P.,  the 
Right  Hon.  Herbert  Gladstone,  M.P.,  the  Rev.  F.  W. 
Puller,  the  Rev.  Chancellor  Crowfoot,  the  Rev.  Chancellor 
Worlledge,  the  Rev.  Prebendary  Maddison,  the  Very  Rev. 
A.  J.  Macleane,  Mr  Henry  Wagner,  Dr  A.  W.  Verrall, 
the  Rev.  C.  W.  Penny^  the  Rev.  L.  J.  White-Thomson, 
the  Rev.  Prebendary  Tucker,  the  Rev.  R.  M.  Blakiston, 
the  Rev.  J.  S.  Brownrigg,  the  Rev.  C.  E.  Fox,  Secretary  of 
the  C.M.S.,  Miss  A.  Hutchinson,  Mrs  Margoliouth,  Mr 
Duncan  M'^Innes,  Mr  Athelstan  Riley,  Mr  Alexis  Larpent, 
the  Rev.  Montague  Fowler,  the  Rev.  Colin  Campbell, 
the  Rev.  E.  L.  Ridge,  the   Editor  and  Proprietor  of  the 

1  Mr  Penny  died  March  30th,   1898. 


Quarterly  Review^  the  Editor  of  the  Natioital  Review^  and 
all  others  who  in  response  to  my  appeal  sent  me  letters 
and  papers  of  interest.  To  my  cousin,  William  Hatchett 
Jackson,  of  Keble  College,  Oxford,  who  has  assisted  me 
with  the  proofs  and  given  me  much  useful  information ; 
to  Mr  R.  Harold  Paget,  of  Oxford,  who  has  compiled  the 
Index  and  Contents ;  to  Mr  F.  E.  B.  Duff,  of  King's 
College,  Cambridge,  who  has  arranged  the  Bibliography; 
and  to  my  friend,  Hugh  R.  E.  Childers,  of  the  Inner 
Temple,  who  has  revised,  verified  and  corrected  the  book 



CHAPTER   I.     (1829— 1845.) 
Ancestors  and  Family  history — Childhood — School-days. 

CHAPTER    n.     (1846— 1848.) 

Dr  Prince  Lee's  influence — Correspondence  with  J.  B.  Lightfoot 
on  religious  subjects — Holiday  Tutorship  in  Scotland. 

CHAPTER    HI.     (1848— 1852.) 

At  Cambridge — First  visit  to  London — College  friendships — 
Sizarship — The  deaths  of  his  mother  and  sister — Disposal  of  the 
family — Unitarian  relations — Mr  Martin  of  Cambridge — Distinctions 
at  Cambridge — Religious  belief — A  reading-party  at  the  Lakes — 
Chancellor's  MedaUist. 

CHAPTER    IV.     (1852— 1859.) 

Rugby — The  Sidgwick  family — Colleagues — At  Rome — Ordina- 
tion— In  France — Offer  of  a  Lectureship  at  Cambridge — Dr  Temple's 
Headmastership — Offer  of  the  Mastership  of  Welhngton — In  Ger- 
many— Marriage — Recollections  by  Colleagues  and  Pupils  of  the 
Rugby  days. 

CHAPTER   V.     (1859— 1863.) 

Wellington — the  College  buildings — Opening  of  the  College — 
His  work  as  Master — The  Chapel — Visitors  at  the  Lodge — The 
Kingsleys — -Colleagues — Letters. 

CHAPTER   VL     (1864— 1865.) 

(Wellington  contmued) — As  a  schoolmaster — Recollections  by 
Colleagues  and  Pupils — Letters — In  France. 


CHAPTER  VII.     (1865— 1870.) 

(Wellington  continued) — Home-life — Influence  on  boys — Intel- 
lectual pursuits — Ecclesiastical  influences — The  Wordsworth  family — 
Prebendary  of  Lincoln — Holidays  with  the  Wordsworths. 


(Wellington    r(?«//««^?<^)— Specimens    of    his    literary    style — The 
Concio — Poems. 

CHAPTER    IX.     (1869— 1872.) 

(Wellington  continued) — Dr  Temple's  appointment  to  Exeter — 
At  Borrowdaile — The  offer  of  Dorking — The  vacant  Headmaster- 
ship  of  Rugby — Death  of  Bishop  Prince  Lee — Select-Preacher  at 
Cambridge — At  Stonyhurst — The  vacant  Deanery  of  Lincoln — 

CHAPTER   X.     (1872— 1873.) 

(Wellington  continued) — The  offer  of  the  Chancellorship  at 
Lincoln — Installation  as  Chancellor — The  last  Speech-day — The 
"  Benson  "  Scholarship — The  last  Sunday. 

CHAPTER   XL     (1873— 1876.) 

Lincoln  —  The  Chancery — Work  at  Lincoln — Night-schools  — 
Cancellarii  Scholae — Social  Popularity — The  Hulsean  Professorship — 
The  Bishopric  of  Calcutta. 

CHAPTER   XII.     (1876— 1879.) 

Truro — The  foundation  of  the  See — Ofi'er  of  the  Bishopric — 
Leaving  Lincoln — Consecration — Enthronement — Lines  of  work — 
Dissent  in  Cornwall — Tours  in  the  Diocese — Letters — The  death  of 
his  eldest  son  Martin. 

CHAPTER   XIII.     (1879.) 

(Truro  continued) — The  Cathedral — Laying  the  Foundation- 
stone — The  Ecclesiastical  Courts  Commission — Rooms  in  Lollard's 
Tower — Home-life — Tours  in  the  Diocese — Poems. 


CHAPTER   XIV.     (1879— 1882.) 

(Truro  continued) — ^Letters — The  Chapel  at  Lis  Escop — A  holiday 
at  Davidstowe — Archbishop  Tait's  illness — His  sister  Ada's  death — 
Rev.  J.  A.  Reeve's  recollections — Archbishop  Tait's  death. 

CHAPTER   XV.     (1882— 1883.) 

(Truro  continued) — The  vacant  Primacy — Offer  of  the  Primacy — 
Letter  to  Cornwall — Letters  on  accepting  the  Primacy — Leaving 
Truro — Farewell  sermon  at  Kenwyn. 


Addington — Lambeth  Palace — Sermons  and  Speeches — Personal 
appearance — Functions — Social  talents — Conversation  and  Stories — 
Reading — "  Table-talk  " — Fondness  for  Animals. 


Habits  of  Life — Dreams — Chapel — Idiosyncrasies— Riding — An 
ideal  Sunday  —  Liberality  and  Economy  —  Detailed  Precision  — 
Punctuality — Hereditary  Traits — Feudal  Instincts — Addington  Parish 
—  Servants— Home-life — Poems. 


Edward     White     Benson,     D.D.,     Headmaster     of 

Wellington  College,  1867 Frontispiece 

Archbishop  Benson's  Arms p.  v'\ 

Archbishop  Benson's  Bookplate          ....  /.  xii 

Four    Miniatures:     Mrs    Christopher    Benson,    Mr 
Christopher  Benson,  Captain  White  Benson,  and 

Mrs  William  Sidgwick   ......  facing  p.  2 

No.  72,  Lombard  Street,  Birmingham.     The  house 

where  the  Archbishop  was  born  ....  ,,4 

E.  W.  Benson  (sen.),  the  Archbishop's  father           .  „         10 

The  Gatehouse,  Skipton  Castle           .         .         .         .  p.   11 

Silhouettes    of    Edward    White    Benson    (sen.)   and 
Harriet  (Baker)  Benson,  the  father  and  mother 

of  the  Archbishop           ......  facing  p.  20 

The  Big  School,  King  Edward's  School,  Birmingham  „         24 
The  Archbishop  as  a  boy,  circa  1841        .         .         .  P-  ~7 
Headmaster's  desk,  King  Edward's  School,  Birming- 
ham        .........  facing  p.  44 

The  Archbishop's  rooms  in  the  New  Court,  Trinity 

College,  Cambridge        .         .         .         .         .         .  ^.114 

The  School  House,  Rugby,  circa  1859      .         .         .      facing  p.   117 
The   Archbishop    as   a   young   man,    after   a  sketch 

made  by  L.  Saulini,  Rome,  1855          .         .         .  „         123 

Wellington  College,  Berks „         161 

Chapel  at  Wellington  College    .....  „         172 

The  Chancery,  Lincoln       ......  „         364 

Edward  White  Benson,  Chancellor  of  Lincoln,  1876  „         377 

Lis  Escop,  Kenwyn,  Truro ,,        425 

Kenwyn  Church  and  Lychgate „         426 

Old  St  Mary's  Church,  Truro,  circa  1877         .         .  „         448 

Truro  Cathedral,  East  End „         453 

The  Archbishop  in  his  study  at  Addington,  circa  1890  „         577 

The  Garden  Front,  Lambeth  Palace          ...  „         580 

Interior,  Lambeth  Palace  Chapel       ....  „         583 

The  Archbishop  at  Addington,  on  his  mare  Columba  „         623 


"  Vivziur  parvo  bene,  an  paternum 
Splendet  in  mensa  tenui  salinuin.^'     HORACE. 

The  name  Benson  is  pre-eminently  unromantic ;  it 
suggests  (quite  erroneously)  a  Hebrew  patronymic,  being 
as  a  matter  of  fact,  as  Mr  Henry  Bradshaw  proved,  nothing 
but  the  Scandinavian  name  Bjornson,  a  hunter's  appella- 
tion, "  Son  of  the  Bear."  It  has  no  patrician  savour,  nor 
any  particular  historical  associations  ;  moreover  no  certain 
connection  can  be  established  between  the  family  of  the 
Archbishop  and  the  families  of  the  few  eminent  Bensons. 

The  Archbishop  was  descended  from  a  stock  of  York- 
shire yeomen — "dalesmen"  to  give  them  their  proper  name 
— "  the  rude  forefathers  of  the  hamlet " — "  simple  persons," 
as  Michel  Angelo  said,  "  who  wore  no  gold  on  their 
garments";  or  as  Lucretius  wrote: 

An  ancient  race,  to  simple  duties  vowed. 
In  narrow  bounds  an  easy  life  endured^. 

The  earliest  ancestor  discoverable  is  a  certain  Thomas 
Benson,  Ranger  or  Forestiarms  of  the  Nidderdale  Forest 
belonging  to  Fountains  Abbey.  He  acquired  the  freehold, 
on  the  dissolution  of  the  Abbey,  of  the  forest  lodge  of 
Branga  which  he    inhabited.     On    the   small   estate,  now 

'■'■  Anticum  geims  ut  pietate  repletuin, 
Perfacile  angustis  tolerarit  finibus  aevum.'^     LucR.  II.  1167. 

B.  I. 

2  CAPTAIN   BENSON  c.  1500-1800 

known  as  Banger  Houses,  near  the  secluded  hamlet  of 
Thornthwaite,  in  the  parish  of  Pateley  Bridge,  ruled  a 
succession  of  sturdy  yeomen,  son  inheriting  from  father  for 
nearly  three  hundred  years.  Then  came  a  generation  of 
mercantile  enterprise.  About  the  middle  of  the  eighteenth 
century  a  Christopher  Benson,  who  enjoyed  the  patriarchal 
title  of  "  Old  Christopher "  in  the  dale,  made  a  modest 
fortune,  and  acquired  land  and  houses  at  Pateley  Bridge, 
and  at  the  end  of  the  same  century  we  find  two  of  his  sons, 
Christopher  and  Edward  Benson,  the  former  a  substantial 
York  merchant,  and  the  latter  a  prosperous  man  of  busi- 
ness living  in  a  prebendal  house  in  the  Close  at  Ripon. 

Edward's  eldest  son,  White  Benson,  was  born  at  Ripon 
in  1777,  the  same  year  in  which  his  father  succeeded  to  an 
estate  left  him  by  Mr  Francis  White,  the  Chapter  Clerk  of 
Ripon,  for  no  better  reason  than  that  they  had  often  been 
partners  in  a  rubber  of  whist. 

Christopher  Benson  of  York  left  two  daughters,  both 
well-endowed  with  this  world's  goods.  One  of  them, 
Eleanor  Sarah,  married  her  first  cousin,  White  Benson, 
the  Archbishop's  grandfather :  the  other  married  a  large 
mill-owner  of  Skipton,  Mr  William  Sidgwick,  my  mother's 
grandfather ;  thus  the  Archbishop  and  his  future  wife  were 
second  cousins. 

White  Benson,  a  brilliant  and  attractive  young  fellow, 
went  into  the  Army,  entering  the  6th  Royals,  Warwickshire 
Regiment.  He  was  the  friend  and  boon  companion  of  his 
Colonel,  Prince  William  Frederick,  afterwards  Duke  of 
Gloucester:  he  left  the  Army  with  the  rank  of  Captain, 
having  by  reckless  extravagance  and  high  play  dissipated 
a  handsome  fortune ;  his  wife's  estate  of  Harefield,  close 
to  Pateley  Bridge,  was  sold  to  pay  his  debts.  He  had  mild 
literary  tastes,  and  published  a  volume  of  poems  and  ballads. 

White    Benson's  sister  married  first  a   lawyer    named 

yi'VUyi^-'U^UAf^rn/  o^a/i^'iCai/c<fAi^^'Siamij3M/u 

-a^  ^>rtC'n.uUii^.£y 

1 1  ^<? 

M;  queeiiBro 

c.  1800-1843  E.  W.  BENSON    SENIOR  3 

Skepper,  and  secondly  Basil  Montagu,  Q.C.  Her  daughter 
by  the  previous  marriage  married  Bryan  Waller  Procter, 
the  poet,  better  known  as  Barry  Cornwall.  Thus  the 
Archbishop's  second  cousin  was  Adelaide  Anne  Procter, 
the  poetical  writer. 

Mrs  Basil  Montagu's  daughter,  Emily  Montagu,  married 
a  Count  William  de  Viry,  and  secondly  the  Count  de 
Revel  ;  her  children,  also  the  Archbishop's  second  cousins, 
were  Albert  de  Viry,  an  officer  in  the  French  Army,  now 
dead,  and  Marie  de  Viry,  who  is  still  alive  as  Sceur 
Marguerite  in  a  Convent  at  Annecy,  of  which  she  has  been 

Mrs  White  Benson  was  left  a  young  widow  with  an  only 
son,  Edward  White  Benson  (1800 — 1843),  ^Y  grandfather,  a 
clever,  sickly  child ;  he  received  a  careful  scientific  education. 
The  movements  of  the  pair  are  difficult  to  trace.  Mrs  White 
Benson,  in  the  hopes  of  finding  health  for  the  frail  child, 
took  houses  in  various  parts  of  the  country.  We  hear  of 
the  little  boy  going  to  Bishopthorpe  and  being  petted  by 
Archbishop  Vernon  Harcourt  and  his  daughters  ;  I  have 
still  in  my  possession  some  books  given  him  by  the 
Countess  of  Mansfield,  a  daughter  of  Archbishop  Mark- 
ham,  who  had  known  Captain  Benson.  They  visited 
London,  and  met  Mr  Wordsworth  the  poet  at  the  Montagus' 
house.  The  boy,  who  little  dreamed  that  his  own  son  was 
to  be  Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  left  on  record  that  the 
most  awe-inspiring  sight  he  had  ever  seen  was  Archbishop 
Vernon  Harcourt  of  York,  in  his  wig,  descending  from  his 
carriage  at  the  west  door  of  York  Minster. 

Mrs  White  Benson  eventually  married  the  Rev.  Stephen 
Jackson,  curate-in-charge  of  Sheldon  in  Warwickshire : 
here  her  son  was  brought  up,  writing  and  reading  much, 
and  practising  chemical  experiments  in  the  production  of 
colours.      Edward   White    Benson,   possessing   a    modest 

4  BIRTH  1S29 

competence  out  of  the  wreck  of  his  father's  fortune,  married 
young, — a  Miss  Harriet  Baker, — and  endeavoured  to  sup- 
plement his  little  income  by  setting  up  as  a  chemical 
manufacturer  in  Birmingham.  It  is  curious  to  note  that 
the  Baker  family  were  staunch  Unitarians;  but  Harriet 
Baker  joined  the  Church  of  England  before  her  marriage 
to  my  grandfather,  who  was  a  strong  Evangelical. 

They  were  married  in  i\.ugust  1826,  and  my  father  was 
born  on  July  14th,  1829,  being  the  eldest  child.  The  house 
in  which  he  first  saw  the  light  was  No.  72,  Lombard  Street. 
Birmingham,  then  a  pleasant  street  of  old-fashioned  houses, 
with  gardens ;  it  is  now  overbuilt  with  factories. 

My  grandfather  was  an  author;  he  published  two  books, 
Education  at  Home  and  Essays  on  the  Works  of  God, 
besides  being  a  contributor  to  scientific  journals  and  ency- 
clopaedias. Botany  was  also  a  hobby  of  his,  and  he  was 
gratified  by  receiving  the  diploma  of  Fellow  from  the  Royal 
Botanical  Society  of  Edinburgh.  The  Osmunda  Regalis 
was  his  favourite  plant,  and  in  the  picture  we  possess 
of  him  he  is  represented  as  sitting  in  his  red  leather  arm- 
chair with  a  sprig  of  this  noble  fern  between  his  fingers. 
The  beds  of  Osvmnda  Regalis  in  the  wet  Cornish  valleys 
were  always  a  delight  to  my  father  from  early  association, 
and  not  only  would  he  not  allow  us  to  pick  off  sprays,  but 
he  used  to  be  extremely  indignant  with  collectors  who  dug 
up  specimens. 

My  grandfather  was  a  considerable  inventor,  his  chief 
discoveries  being  the  "  nitric  acid  dipping-bath  "  for  electro- 
typing  purposes,  a  method  of  producing  soda  carbonate, 
a  process  for  manufacturing  white-lead  which  is  still  known 
by  his  name,  a  process  for  the  manufacture  of  cobalt, 
certain  photographic  improvements,  and  several  other 
minor  inventions.  But  he  was  a  most  unbusiness-like 
man,  and,  though  considerable  fortunes  were  made  out  of 

No.      72,      LOMBARD      STREET,      BIRMINGHAM. 

THE      HOUSE      WHERE      THE      ARCHBISHOP      WAS       BORN. 

From  a  dra^vitig  by  I/tiiry    Tiiilc. 

To  face  fngc  4,  vol.  i 

1829-1844  BROTHERS   AND   SISTERS  5 

at   least   three   of  his  inventions,  he  never  succeeded   in 
acquiring  any  money  for  himself. 

One  word  about  my  father's  brothers  and  sisters ;  the 
family  consisted,  beside  my  father,  of: 

1.  Harriet,  who  died  young. 

2.  Eleanor  Bowes,  born  1833,  who  married,  as  his 
second  wife,  Mr  Thomas  Hare,  of  Gosbury  Hill,  Hook, 
Surrey.  Mr  Hare  was  the  inventor  of  a  well-known 
system  of  Parliamentary  Representation \  the  methods 
which  he  advocated  being  adopted  in  Denmark.  He 
was  Assistant  Charity  Commissioner  for  many  years.  Mrs 
Hare  died  in  1890,  and  her  only  child  predeceased  her. 

3.  Christopher,  born  1835,  who  was  paralysed  as  a 
child,  and  never  recovered  the  use  of  his  limbs.  He  lived 
for  the  greater  part  of  his  life  in  Germany,  at  Wiesbaden  ; 
he  married  Agnes,  daughter  of  Professor  Walker  of  Oxford, 
and  died  in  1890. 

4.  Emmeline,  born  1837,  who,  of  the  eight,  alone 
survives,  married  the  Rev.  George  Girdlestone  Woodhouse, 
Vicar  of  Yealmpton  near  Plymouth  (who  died  in  1897), 
and  has  several  surviving  children. 

5.  Ada,  born  1840,  who  was  first  Headmistress  suc- 
cessively of  the  High  Schools  at  Norwich,  Oxford  and 
Bedford.  She  married  Mr  Andrew  McDowall,  and  died 
in  1882,  leaving  two  children.  She  was  one  of  the  pioneers 
of  the  Girls'  High  School  movement. 

6.  Charles,  born  1 842,  who  was  for  many  years  Manager 
of  the  Oakeley  Slate  Quarries  at  Portmadoc  in  North  Wales. 
He  died  in  1893. 

7.  William,  twin-brother  of  Charles,  who  died  as  a  child. 
It  is  a  curious  fact  that  of  old  Mr  Christopher  Ben- 
son's descendants  no  fewer  than  twelve  have  adopted  the 

^  The  Election  of  Representatives,  Pa)'lia>ncnta)y  and  Municipal.    London, 
Longman,  Brown,  Green,  Longmans  and  Rolierts,  1859  (3  subsequent  editions). 

6  BAPTISM  AET.  1-15 

profession  of  teaching,  either  at  the  University  or  at  public 
schools ;  that  ten  have  taken  first-class  honours  at  one  or 
other  University,  and  that  fourteen  have  published  books 
of  some  kind.  This  is,  I  think,  a  singular  record  of  kindred 
tastes  and  literary  activity. 

My  father  was  not  baptized  till  the  31st  March,  1830. 
The  view  which  even  religious-minded  Churchmen  took  of 
baptism  was  very  different  from  the  view  which  prevails 
now.  At  St  Martin's  Church,  Birmingham,  on  Sundays, 
there  were  held  what  were  called  "  public  christenings,"  at 
which  the  persons  to  be  baptized  were  arranged  round  the 
Communion  rails,  and  sprinkled  from  the  font  with  a  brush, 
like  a  Roman  asperging  brush.  Some  of  the  candidates 
would  be  nine  or  ten  years  old,  some  younger  children, 
some  infants  carried  in  a  parent's  or  sponsor's  arms.  But 
it  is  interesting  to  record  that  Mrs  Chavasse,  daughter  of 
Mr  Stephen  Jackson  and  thus  my  father's  half-aunt, 
remembers  that  my  grandfather,  though  a  pronounced 
Evangelical,  and  holding  high  Sacramental  views  in  sus- 
picion, used  to  say  that  these  "  public  "  christenings  were  a 
scandal,  and  that  consequently  the  Archbishop  was  bap- 
tized "  privately,"  that  is,  by  special  appointment,  by  the 
Rev.  J.  Byers,  in  St  Martin's  Church,  together  with  three 
other  children,  the  parents  and  sponsors  only  being  present. 
She  was  staying  with  my  grandparents  at  the  time,  but 
was  prevented  from  attending  the  ceremony. 

My  father  could  just  remember  his  maternal  grandfather, 
Mr  Thomas  Baker,  who  had  been  Headmaster  of  the 
Lancastrian  School,  and  was  afterwards  Inspector  of  the 
Birmingham  Markets.  His  portrait  represents  a  clerical- 
looking  personage  in  a  high-collared  black  coat  and  a 
carefully  tied  white  tie,  with  his  fingers,  emerging  from 
long  cuffs,  curiously  arranged  on  the  table  before  him  as 
though  he  were  playing  the  piano.     My  father  used  often 

1829-1844  EARLY   RECOLLECTIONS  7 

to  go  and  see  him  as  a  little  boy,  and  sit  talking  to  him 
while  he  smoked  his  long  "churchwarden"  pipes.  He 
was  very  much  marked  with  the  small-pox,  and  as  he 
smoked  used  to  rest  the  end  of  his  pipe-stem  against 
his  face  so  as  not  to  be  incommoded  by  the  smoke 
trickling  from  it.  My  father  imagined  that  the  scars  of  the 
small-pox  on  his  face  were  caused  by  this  habit,  and 
thought  that  the  old  gentleman,  indifferent  about  his 
complexion,  preferred  to  persist  in  doing  this,  although 
each  time  he  did  so  a  fresh  scar  was  the  result. 

One  of  my  father's  earliest  recollections,  stamped  on 
his  mind  by  childish  terror,  is  that  as  he  played  one  evening 
by  the  nursery  windows  in  Lombard  Street,  Birmingham, 
looking  out  on  the  red-lighted  windows  of  the  laboratory, 
— a  building,  formerly  a  coach-house,  which  stood  at  the 
end  of  the  garden, — a  muffled  explosion  was  heard,  the 
glass  of  the  laboratory  windows  flew  out  and  descended 
in  a  tinkling  shower,  and  a  great  burst  of  white  smoke 
volleyed  out  through  the  panes ;  a  moment  later  he  saw 
his  mother,  white-faced,  run  down  the  path,  and  in  a 
few  minutes  she  returned  with  the  laboratory  assistant 
half  leading,  half  supporting  his  father  between  them, 
his  face  streaming  with  blood,  up  the  garden  paths.  Some 
detonating  powder  in  a  mortar  had  exploded  ;  the  room 
was  all  wrecked  ;  a  ledger  on  the  table  cut  in  two  :  his 
father  was  long  and  seriously  ill  from  the  shock,  but  his 
eyesight  was  not  permanently  injured  as,  foreseeing  the  ex- 
plosion, he  had  had  time  to  shelter  his  face  with  his  hands. 
My  father  had  been  with  him  in  the  laboratory,  during  the 
progress  of  the  experiment,  a  few  moments  before. 

Shortly  after  this  my  grandfather,  wishing  to  augment 
his  modest  revenues,  accepted  the  Managership  of  large 
alkali  works  at  Stoke  near  Droitwich,  which  had  been 
lately  built  and  contained  what  was  then  said  to  be  the 

8  WYCHBOLD  aet.  1-15 

tallest  chimney  in  England.  He  thereupon  settled  at 
Wychbold,  a  little  rustic  village  near  Droitwich,  not  far 
from  the  little  Church  of  Upton.  The  whole  region  was 
then  quieter  and  more  pastoral  than  it  is  now.  A  pleasant 
road,  now  disfigured  by  a  raised  footpath  of  cinders,  leads 
from  Droitwich  to  Upton  ;  near  the  road  in  the  hamlet  of 
Wychbold  is  a  comfortable  modern  house  now  called  Elm 
Court.  This  in  the  thirties  was  a  low  irregular  timbered 
house  called  Ivy  Cottage,  and  was  occupied  by  Mr  Benson, 
or  as  he  was  called  in  the  neighbourhood,  Mr  White 
Benson.  Next  to  Ivy  Cottage  is  a  quaint  gabled  farm- 
house, with  black  oak  timbers,  standing  back  from  the 

Ivy  Cottage  had  a  large  garden  and  was  overshadowed 
by  tall  trees ;  at  the  end  of  the  garden  stood  a  building, 
formerly  a  stable,  used  by  my  grandfather  as  a  laboratory 
for  chemical  experiments.  When  I  visited  Wychbold 
some  time  ago,  I  found  an  old  man  who  remembered 
him  and  said  of  him  enthusiastically,  "  Yes,  he  was 
the  first  man  who  made  lucifer  matches  in  England."  It 
was  true  that  he  had  a  small  manufactory  of  matches  in 
1828,  which  he  retained  until  his  accident;  but  I  do  not 
imagine  that  he  was  the  first,  though  perhaps  among  the 
earliest,  to  produce  lucifers. 

The  Stoke  works  were  a  couple  of  miles  away  from 
Wychbold ;  my  grandfather  preferred  the  country  air  of 
Upton  for  himself  and  his  young  family,  being  glad  of  the 
walk  to  and  from  the  works  morning  and  evening.  Ivy 
Cottage  soon  proved  too  small  for  the  growing  family; 
he  therefore  took  a  farm-house  close  to  Wychbold  called 
Brook  House,  a  simple  old-fashioned  red-brick  grange. 
The  farm-buildings  were  used  by  a  neighbouring  farmer ; 
but  my  grandfather  retained  the  pleasant  sunny  garden, 
with  a  little  ha-ha  looking  over  some  fields,  at  the  bottom 

1829-1844  BROOK   HOUSE  9 

of  which  ran  the  brook  from  which  the  house  took  its 
name.  There  were  old  orchard  trees  all  about,  and  a 
great  climbing  pear-tree  on  the  wall  of  the  dairy. 

With  this  house  most  of  my  father's  early  memories 
were  connected.  It  was  not  a  large  house,  there  being  but 
a  parlour  and  dining-room,  a  little  room  upstairs,  called 
the  book-room,  where  my  grandfather  worked,  and  a  few 
bed-rooms.  Here  my  father  could  recollect  being  taken 
upstairs  every  Sunday,  after  the  early  dinner,  and  lifted 
in  his  father's  arms,  to  look  at  an  engraving  of  Paracelsus, 
a  philosopher  for  whom  my  father  had  a  great  admiration 
and  affection  in  later  years:  the  picture  always  hung  close  to 
his  desk  at  Addington.  The  worn  aspect  of  the  man  with 
his  long  nose,  deep-set  eyes,  and  expression  of  painful  ex- 
pectation impressed  itself  very  deeply  on  his  childish  mind. 

My  father's  early  recollections  of  Church  at  Upton  are 
curious  and  worth  recording:  (I  noted  them  down  from  his 
talk  in  1878:)  the  Church  was  aisleless,  and  the  middle 
passage  with  high  pews  on  each  side  led  up  to  the 
Chancel-arch  in  which  was  a  three-decker  fifteen  feet  high. 
The  clerk  wore  a  wig  and  immense  horn  spectacles.  He 
was  a  shoemaker,  dressed  in  black,  with  a  white  tie. 
Some  of  the  pews  were  long,  some  square ;  their  own 
was  the  latter.  In  the  gallery  there  sat  "  the  music " — 
a  clarionet,  flute,  violin  and  'cello ;  the  clerk  gave  out 
"  20th  Psalm  of  David "  and  the  fiddles  tuned  for  a 
moment  and  then  played  it  once.  Then  they  struck  up, 
and  the  clerk,  absolutely  alone,  in  a  majestic  voice  which 
swayed  up  and  down  without  regard  to  time,  sang  it 
through,  like  the  braying  of  an  ass  :  not  a  soul  else  joined 
in ;  the  farmers  amused  and  smiling  at  each  other ;  my 
grandfather  standing  upright  like  a  pillar,  without  a  smile. 

My  father  used  often  to  describe  to  us  his  recollections 
of  my  grandfather.     He  was  a  pale  slim  man  with  large 

lo  E.    W.    BENSON   SENIOR  aet.  1-15 

eyes,  very  like  his  cousins  the  Sidgwicks — there  is  a  strong 
resemblance  in  his  portrait  to  Professor  Henry  Sidgwick. 
In  1890  my  father  met  Professor  Tyndall  for  the  first 
time  at  the  Bel  Alp  in  Switzerland,  and  made  great 
friends  with  him.  He  said  to  me  afterwards  that  Pro- 
fessor Tyndall  both  in  face  and  manner  recalled  his 
father  to  him  so  strongly  that  he  took  to  him  the  moment 
he  saw  him.  He  must  have  been  a  man  of  great  force 
of  character ;  he  was  a  strong  Evangelical  Churchman, 
and  a  man  of  singular  unworldliness  and  piety.  He  was 
a  total  abstainer  of  an  almost  bigoted  type ;  in  one  of 
his  many  serious  illnesses  he  refused  all  stimulants,  and 
was  only  saved  by  an  energetic  doctor  who  poured  brandy 
down  his  throat  when  he  had  sunk  into  semi-unconscious- 
ness. One  of  his  characteristics  was  a  horror,  inherited 
by  my  father,  of  talking  about  money-matters,  which  he 
thought  highly  improper.  But  this  reticence  led  afterwards 
to  a  serious  catastrophe  which  will  be  related  later. 

My  grandfather  dressed  very  precisely  in  black — a  low 
waistcoat  showing  a  frilled  front,  a  black  stock,  a  dress 
coat,  with  a  bunch  of  seals  dangling  from  his  fob ;  black 
pantaloons  with  white  stockings ;  pumps  in  the  house  ;  out 
of  doors  he  wore  high  boots  and  a  large  carefully-brushed 
beaver  hat  and  black  gloves.  This  precise  attention  to 
details  of  dress  was  imbibed  by  my  father,  who  used,  we 
thought  as  children,  to  be  unnecessarily  exacting  in  the 
matter  of  hats  and  gloves.  I  well  recollect,  the  first  time 
he  came  down  to  see  me  at  Eton,  the  unintentional  misery 
he  caused  me,  then  a  very  untidy  lower  boy,  by  brushing 
the  collar  of  my  jacket  in  the  playing-fields  before  several 
of  my  friends. 

My  father  was  at  first  a  sickly  child ;  but  a  long 
holiday  spent  at  Rampside,  near  Barrow-in-Furness,  with 
his  cousin  the  Rev.  William  Sidgwick,  who  had  a  curacy 







E.    W.     BENSON     (sen.),    THE    ARCHBISHOP'S     FATHER. 

From  a  pencil  sketch. 

To  face  page  lo,  vol.   i 



there,  and  whose  daughter  he  was  afterwards  to  marry, 
and  with  his  other  Sidgwick  cousins,  in  Yorkshire,  quite 
set  him  up,  and  he  returned  so  brown  and  well  that  for 
a  time  his  family  quite  gave  up  calling  him  "  White "  as 
absurd  ;  but  he  was  generally  known  till  the  Rugby  days 
by  that  name,  when  Edward  was  substituted  for  it. 

The  future  Archbishop  was  not  at  all  a  "  good  "  child. 
Mrs  Welchman,  formerly  Miss  Palmer,  and  sister  of  one 
of  my  father's  schoolfellows,  says,  "  White  was  always  a 
pickle";  she  goes  on  to  say  that  she  remembers  going  to 
dine  there  one  day  with  her  mother,  when  White  was 
"  particularly  naughty,"  and  was  only  quieted  by  a  threat 
from  Mrs  Palmer  that  she  would  have  to  put  him  in  her 
pocket  and  carry  him  away  with  her :  she  remembers  him 
regarding  Mrs  Palmer  with  serious  alarm  in  his  wide-open 
blue  eyes. 

Old  Mrs  William  Sidgwick,  daughter  of  Christopher 
Benson  of  York,  my  father's  great-aunt,  lived  at  Skipton, 



12  CHARLOTTE    BRONTE  aet.  1-15 

in  the  Castle,  where  my  father  spent  many  happy  hoHdays  ; 
she  was  a  widow,  and  with  her  hved  her  sons  James  and 
Christopher,  who  retired  from  the  mills  at  an  early  age ;  a 
younger  brother,  Robert,  also  lived  there  till  his  marriage ; 
their  brother,  the  Rev.  William  Sidgwick,  my  maternal 
grandfather,  left  the  curacy  of  Bamborough,  near  Wake- 
field, whither  he  had  gone  from  Rampside,  to  become 
headmaster  of  the  Skipton  Grammar  School ;  the  eldest, 
John  Benson  Sidgwick,  senior  partner  in  the  High  Mills, 
was  living  in  the  house  his  father  had  built  at  Stonegappe, 
near  Cononley,  a  lonely  secluded  house  in  a  wooded  dingle 
of  the  moors,  Charlotte  Bronte  acted  as  governess  to  my 
cousins  at  Stonegappe  for  a  few  months  in  1839.  Few 
traditions  of  her  connection  with  the  Sidgwicks  survived 
She  was,  according  to  her  own  account,  very  unkindly 
treated,  but  it  is  clear  that  she  had  no  gifts  for  the 
management  of  children  and  was  also  in  a  very  morbid 
condition  the  whole  time.  My  cousin  Benson  Sidgwick, 
now  Vicar  of  Ashby  Parva,  certainly  on  one  occasion 
threw  a  Bible  at  Miss  Bronte  :  and  all  that  another  cousin 
can  recollect  of  her  is  that  if  she  was  invited  to  walk  to 
Church  with  them  she  thought  she  was  being  ordered 
about  like  a  slave ;  if  she  was  not  invited,  she  imagined 
she  was  excluded  from  the  family  circle.  Both  Mr  and 
Mrs  John  Sidgwick  were  extraordinarily  benevolent  people, 
much  beloved,  and  would  not  wittingly  have  given  pain  to 
any  one  connected  with  them.  William  Carr,  my  mother's 
great-uncle,  who  was  Vicar  of  Bolton  Abbey,  was  also  a 
cousin  of  my  father's,  so  that  the  whole  place  was  a  nest  of 

Old  Mrs  Sidgwick  was  rather  a  grande  dame  at  Skipton 
and  my  father  was  in  some  terror  of  her,  though  he  admired 

^  It  has  been  often  stated,  I  believe  erroneously,  that  the  Yorke  family  in 
Shirley  were  drawn  from  the  Sidgwicks. 

1829-1844  CHILDHOOD  13 

and  reverenced  her  greatly.  But  everyone  was  very  kind 
to  him  ;  he  paid  many  visits  to  Yorkshire  as  a  boy,  going 
from  house  to  house,  and  his  letters  are  full  of  parties  and 
picnics,  riding  and  shooting. 

On  one  of  his  visits  to  Stonegappe^  occurred  the 
incident  that  made  him  for  so  many  years  of  his  life  hold 
shooting  in  abhorrence  :  it  was  nothing  more  than  the 
piteous  cries  of  a  wounded  hare  shot  by  one  of  the  party,  I 
think  by  my  father  himself.  He  was  seized  with  sickness, 
being  extraordinarily  sensitive  to  the  sight  of  suffering, 
gave  his  gun  to  the  keeper,  and  going  home,  registered 
a  vow  that  he  would  never  shoot  again. 

As  a  child  I  remember  that  his  view  of  cruelty  to 
animals  seemed  extravagant  to  us ;  he  never  allowed  us  to 
read  books  about  hunting  or  wild  sport,  and  I  can  well 
recollect  his  taking  away  from  me  a  book  given  to  me  by 
some  indiscreet  friend,  which  contained  pictures,  to  me  de- 
lightful, of  wounded  elephants,  harpooned  hippopotamuses 
and  slaughtered  bisons.  In  later  life  he  became  more 
tolerant  of  field  sports,  and  even  made  over  the  shooting 
at  Addington  to  me. 

I  may  here  insert  the  early  recollections  of  my  father 
by  his  cousin  Margaret  Cooper,  daughter  of  Mr  John 
Benson  Sidgwick  of  Stonegappe. 

Mrs  Cooper  writes : 

The  first  time  I  saw  your  father  was  when  he  came  to 
Stonegappe  as  a  little  boy  in  frocks  and  pinafores.  I  should 
think  about  five  years  old.  He  stayed  a  long  time  with  us.  He 
was  dressed  in  our  nursery  by  our  nurse,  and  did  lessons  with  us 
in  our  schoolroom.  He  came  very  brown  from  the  sea-side  so 
that  it  must  have  been  summer;  and  though  I  don't  recollect 
much  I  remember  playing  in  the  hayfield.     On  Sunday  afternoons 

^  Stonegappe  was  sold  in  1847  by  Mr  Sidgwick  to  Mr  Lace,  who  had 
married  Mrs  William  Sidgwick's  sister,  so  that  my  father  continued  to  go 

14  THE    SIDGWICKS  aet.  1-15 

we  always  said  the  Catechism  and  Bible  verses  to  my  father,  and 
I  recollect  quite  well  your  father  stood  between  me  and  William ; 
and  after  this  my  father  taught  us  things  from  the  Bible,  or 
talked  to  us  in  an  interesting  way.  One  circumstance  I  recollect 
perfectly ;  and  have  often  thought  of  it  since  your  father  was 
made  Archbishop.  We  were  near  the  fire,  which  looks  as  if  he 
had  stayed  some  time  with  us — William  was  sitting  on  my  father's 
right  knee,  your  father  on  a  low  stool  at  his  left  side — and  my 
father  said,  "  I  wonder  which  of  you  two  boys  I  shall  see 
Archbishop  of  Canterbury."  Then  came  various  questions — 
"What  is  Archbishop  of  Canterbury?"  etc.  etc.  I  named  this  to 
your  father  when  he  was  here  in  1893,  but  he  did  not  recollect  it, 
nor  did  he  seem  to  remember  anything  of  that  first  visit. 

He  came  to  us  I  think  in  the  summer  of  1844,  and  went  with 
us  to  stay  at  Swarcliff  with  my  grandfather  Greenwood.  He  also 
went  with  us  to  the  sea-side.  We  were  about  three  weeks  at  Seaton 
Carew  near  Hartlepool.  My  father  was  with  us  part  of  the  time, 
and  your  father  and  he  had  many  interesting  talks  on  various 
subjects.  The  one  I  remember  best  was  on  Dr  Arnold  and 
Rugby  School.  What  I  noticed  was  that  he  was  so  much  more 
able  to  discuss  matters  with  my  father  than  was  possible  to  other 
boys  of  his  age. 

In  the  summer  of  1874  my  father,  who  was  then 
Chancellor  of  Lincoln,  took  my  eldest  brother  Martin 
and  myself  on  a  round  of  visits  to  our  Yorkshire  relations. 
As  the  Sidgwicks  played  so  large  a  part  in  my  father's 
early  life  I  venture  to  describe  them.  We  stayed  at  The 
Raikes,  Skipton,  my  uncle  Robert  Sidgwick's  house. 

The  morning  after  our  arrival  we  went  up  to  the  Castle, 
rather  in  solemn  silence  as  if  to  assist  at  some  rite,  to  see 
uncle  James :  it  was  understood  that  he  would  be  dis- 
pleased if  we  did  not  go  to  him  at  once.  We  went  up 
under  the  Church  and  across  the  little  lawn  below  the 
Castle  ;  we  were  shown,  as  far  as  I  can  recollect,  into  a 
room  with  curious  alcoves  and  a  large  bookcase.  Uncle 
James  was  a  small  delicate  man,  with  high  collars  and  a 
black  silk  cravat  wound  many  times  round  his  neck  :  he 

1829-1844  THE   SIDGWICKS  15 

wore  a  swallow-tailed  coat  very  tight  at  the  waist,  and  had 
a  dangling  bunch  of  seals.  He  did  not  seem  to  wish  to 
detain  us,  but  brought  out  a  netted  purse  before  we  went, 
and  handed  my  brother  and  myself  each  a  sovereign, 
saying,  "I  always  give  my  young  relatives  of  the  third 
generation  a  sovereign,  when  they  come  to  see  me  for 
the  first  time — and  never  again^ 

James  Sidgwick  had  retired  for  many  years  from  the 
High  Mills,  and  had  done  little  since,  except  read  :  he  did 
not  join  much  in  conversation,  but  late  in  the  evening 
was  pleased  to  retail  the  incautious  statements  made 
by  members  of  the  party,  with  corrections.  He  was 
something  of  a  cynic,  and  a  high  Tory.  Being  liable  to 
cold,  he  habitually  sat  in  a  kind  of  porter's  chair  with  a 
wicker-work  hood  ;  he  used  to  walk  in  the  Castle  Bailey 
every  morning  at  eight,  but  was  rarely  seen  abroad  during 
the  rest  of  the  day. 

In  the  afternoon  we  went  to  see  uncle  Christopher: 
he  had  retired  young  from  the  business ;  he  had  been  a 
strong  Evangelical,  but  was  a  great  student  and  thinker 
in  Theology,  and  became  a  very  High  Churchman.  He 
devoted  his  fortune  to  building  and  endowing  Christ 
Church,  Skipton.  It  was  one  of  the  earliest  Churches  of 
the  Gothic  revival,  and  was  described  by  Archbishop 
Longley,  then  Bishop  of  Ripon,  as  "  a  chaste  and  beautiful 
design."  It  had  a  stone  altar,  and,  under  the  Chancel,  a 
mortuary  chapel ;  every  detail  in  the  Church  was  carefully 
worked  out,  and  seems  now  almost  pathetically  ugly  and 
stiff.  It  was  furnished  with  an  organ,  turned  by  hand,  in 
order  that  only  the  very  limited  number  of  tunes  that 
the  founder  approved  of  might  be  sung. 

He  also  built  the  Church  Schools  in  Water  Street ; 
here  in  old  days  he  kept  his  books  in  a  house  adjoining 
the  school,  and  came  down  from  the  Castle  for  service  at 

i6  CHRISTOPHER   SIDGWICK  aet.  1-15 

7  a.m.  at  Christ  Church,  and  after  breakfast  retired  to  the 
hermitage  to  read  till  three, — when  he  returned  to  the 
Castle  to  dine, — with  the  intermediate  refreshment  of  a 
slice  of  sponge  cake,  which  was  kept  under  a  bell-glass 
on  the  table,  and  eaten  at  the  stroke  of  twelve.  He  was 
a  man  of  settled  habits.  To  the  end  of  his  life,  he  had 
two  hats,  made  after  a  fashion  which  he  approved  in  1840, 
sent  him  annually  from  Lincoln  and  Bennett.  He  was 
fond  of  BradsJiaiv,  and  always  kept  a  copy  by  him,  to 
work  out  cross-country  journeys,  which  he  never  took. 

After  the  Board  School  came  to  Skipton,  he  closed  his 
own  school,  and  converted  the  School-room  into  his  own 
library.  It  was  here  we  saw  him — I  remember  a  magni- 
ficent looking  old  man,  with  a  somewhat  leonine  face, 
dressed  like  a  Quaker,  with  a  swallow-tail  coat  and  frilled 
shirt-front,  sitting  in  the  midst  of  his  books,  which  lay  in 
some  confusion  ;  he  talked  long  and  affectionately  with  my 
father,  but  took  little  notice  of  us. 

He  was  a  great  Liturgiologist  in  days  when  such  things 
were  not  well  understood ;  he  used  to  take  long  walks  with 
Richard  Ward,  whom  he  had  appointed  to  Christ  Church, 
discussing  the  rubrics  point  by  point.  My  father  has  told 
me  that  his  own  early  taste  for  ecclesiastical  things  was 
mainly  derived  from  him,  adding  that  some  of  Mr  Chris- 
topher's remembered  comments  were  even  useful  to  him 
in  his  judgment  in  the  Lincoln  case.  "  Our  business  in 
ritual,"  he  used  to  say,  "  is  to  discuss  not  what  we  should 
like,  but  what  is  right."  This  Christopher  carried  out  in 
the  minutest  details  in  his  own  Church,  such  as  having  a 
vessel  of  water  by  the  font,  because  of  the  words  "  the  font, 
which  shall  then  be  filled" — "not  full,"  he  used  to  say,  "but 
filled,"  He  would  allow  no  representations  of  saints  in 
the  windows.  "St  John  does  not  say,  Little  children,  keep 
yourselves  from  idolatry,  but   from   'idols,'  that   is   from 

1829-1S44  FIRST   LESSONS  17 

representations."  He  reserved  the  first  three  presentations 
to  the  living  to  himself,  but  by  the  speedy  death  or  resig- 
nation of  the  first  three  incumbents,  the  patronage  passed 
from  his  hands ;  he  wrote  several  tracts  on  ecclesiastical 
subjects.  He  is  buried  at  the  east  end  of  the  Church 
which  he  founded.  "Istius  ecclesiae  stabilitor"  has  been 
cut  more  recently  in  the  small  stone  which  he  ordered  to 
be  his  only  memorial. 

The  third  brother — the  Rev.  William  Sidgwick,  of 
Trinity  College,  Cambridge,  and  a  Wrangler, — was,  as 
has  been  said,  Master  of  the  Skipton  Grammar  School. 
He  married  Mary  Crofts,  a  niece  of  Mr  Carr  of  Bolton 
Abbey,  and  brought  up  by  him  as  a  daughter.  William 
Sidgwick  died  early,  leaving  four  sons  and  two  daughters, 
my  mother  being  his  youngest  child. 

About  1836  my  father  began  his  first  lessons.  His 
father  had  curious  and  original  ideas  on  the  subject  of 
education,  and  in  order  to  train  my  father  in  a  sense  of 
responsibility  and  to  acquaint  him  with  the  value  of  time, 
he  never  prescribed  any  particular  hours  at  which  his 
lessons  should  be  done.  My  grandfather  breakfasted  late, 
the  asthma  from  which  he  suffered  giving  him  often  very 
broken  nights.  At  breakfast  he  had  a  fancy  for  sitting 
with  his  legs  not  under  the  table  but  sideways  to  it,  while 
he  ate  his  simple  meal  of  tea  and  dry  toast,  hearing  my 
father  his  lessons  meanwhile.  He  used  to  be  very  irritable 
in  spite  of  his  theories  about  Home  Teaching,  if  the  lessons 
were  not  prepared  ad  imgnan,  and  would  say  to  his  sister, 
Mrs  Chavasse,  after  the  boy  had  gone  to  school,  that  he 
thought  a  father  was  a  very  bad  teacher  for  a  child,  and 
that  he  would  never  attempt  such  a  thing  again.  Then 
the  next  day's  lessons  were  set,  and  soon  after  that  my 
grandfather  set  out  for  the  works ;  the  boy  generally 
accompanying  him  and  being  allowed  to  ramble  about, 
B.  I.  2 

i8  LOVE   OF   READING  aet.  1-15 

talk  to  the  workmen,  and  ask  what  questions  he  liked. 
It  was  there  that  he  acquired  the  extreme  love  for  the 
conversation  of  simple  working  people  which  was  after- 
wards characteristic  of  him.  He  was  not  always  in  later 
life  a  very  patient  listener,  and  unnecessary  digressions 
by  leisurely  people  were  often  a  trial  to  him,  but  to  the 
lengthy  explanations  of  mechanics  or  labouring  men  he 
used  to  extend  a  patience  which  we  as  children  often 
remarked  upon ;  "  I  like  to  hear  him  explain  it  in  his 
own  way,"  he  used  to  say. 

In  the  course  of  the  morning  the  boy  had  to  find  his 
way  back  for  the  early  dinner,  his  father  remaining  at  the 
works.  And  then  for  the  rest  of  the  day  he  was  free  to  do 
his  work  when  he  liked. 

He  used  to  shut  himself  up  in  the  book-room  and  try 
to  work :  but  his  attention  was  often  distracted  by  the 
books  all  round  the  room.  Mrs  Chavasse,  who  used  often 
to  stay  with  them  in  early  days,  and  was  a  great  ally  of 
my  father's,  writes : 

I  am  bound  to  say  your  grandfather's  books,  and  above  all 
talking,  was  a  great  temptation  to  your  father.  A  constant  cry 
was  "now,  White,  ^^go  on  with  your  lessons  " — "Aunt  Mary  Ann, 
just  let  me  read  you  this,  it  is  only  a  little  bit  of  Southey.  I  shall 
get  it  off  my  mind  and  really  be  able  to  work  thenr  Then  came 
a  few  of  White's  opinions  about  literature  in  general.  It  was  a 
hard  task  to  get  the  lessons  all  done.  At  that  time  he  was 
between  10  and  11  years  of  age. 

One  memorable  winter  afternoon  when  he  was  much 
behindhand  with  his  work,  his  mother  found  him  perched 
on  the  top  of  the  library  steps,  reading  Shakespeare. 
"Now,  White,"  she  said,  "you  had  better  finish  your 
work "  ;   and  slipped  out  of  the  room  again. 

The  boy,  entranced  by  the  Midsuvuner  Nighfs  Dream, 
read  on,  vowing  to  himself  that  it  should  only  be  one  page 
more,  but  at   last  he   turned   a  page  and   found   a  little 

1829-1844  EARLY   RECOLLECTIONS  19 

engraving  of  Bottom  standing  in  the  forest  glade  with  the 
ass's  head  on  him.  The  picture,  in  the  dimly  lighted  room, 
struck  him  dumb  with  horror.  It  never  occurred  to  him 
to  think  of  it  as  other  than  a  true  picture  of  a  sentient 
being ;  such  a  monster  then  might  be  seen  on  earth,  met 
with  perhaps  in  the  lonely  lanes  by  Upton.  He  gazed  on 
it  with  growing  terror  and  at  last  summoned  up  courage 
to  put  the  book  back  on  the  shelf:  but  he  used  to  tell  us 
that  for  weeks  the  thought  of  the  picture  being  there,  on 
the  high  shelf,  was  a  nightmare  to  him,  and  it  was  not  for 
years  that  he  dared  open  the  volume.  We  still  possess 
the  little  Shakespeare  in  its  dingy  grey  cover,  but  the 
volume  containing  the  Midsitvinier  Night's  Dream  is 
missing,  a  fact  which  my  father  frequently  deplored. 

I  think  that  this  is  perhaps  the  best  place  to  insert 
some  autobiographical  recollections  of  his  childhood,  written 
by  my  father  at  Cambridge  shortly  after  his  mother's  death 
in  1849: 

"  One  of  the  earliest  if  not  the  earliest  thing  in  my 
remembrance  is  the  being  held  by  my  mother's  arm  round 
my  knees  against  her  bosom,  and  looking  into  her  face.  I 
remember  no  thoughts,  no  words,  no  other  remembrances 
even,  but  that  she  was  beside  a  window  and  her  face  was 
towards  the  light — nothing  else  but  a  pure  sensation  of 

"  And  I  must  have  been  a  very  young  child  when  I  used 
to  sit  upon  a  chair  beside  my  mother's  dressing-table,  and 
watch  her  dressing  her  hair.  My  first  ideas  of  all  beauty 
were  from  my  mother's  face.  I  well  remember  thinking 
how  different  my  own  face  in  the  looking-glass  was  from 
hers.  That  it  was  nothing  but  pleasure  to  gaze  at  her — 
while  there  was  a  misty  sort  of  dislike  to  seeing  myself 

"  Since  then  I  have  been  told  that  my  babyish  admira- 
tion of  her  loveliness  was  not  misplaced.     All  distinctness 

20  IVY   COTTAGE  aet.  1-15 

of  recollection  is  much  later ;  and  now  I  only  think  of  her 
high  forehead  and  clear  eye,  and  the  command  in  her  lower 
face  which  has  awed  me  many  a  time  in  my  schoolboy 

"  I  was  at  first  a  little,  thin,  pale  fellow  whose  life  was 
not  considered  very  sure.  But  it  was  a  few  months  before 
my  6th  birthday  that  I  came  back  from  Rampside  and  the 
Yorkshire  Round,  stout  and  strong  and  well — re-made  for 
life  as  I  believe  it  proved — and  burnt  so  dark,  that  my  grand- 
mother and  aunt  had  given  up  calling  me  by  my  second 
name,  because  it  was  so  strangely  ludicrous  a  misnomer. 
My  father  came  to  fetch  me  from  Lichfield  ;  while  I  had 
been  away  they  had  removed  to  Wychbold,  to  an  old 
rambling  little  house  right  well  deserving  its  name  of  Ivy 
Cottage.  The  occasion  of  the  change  was  my  father's 
engagement  as  Manager  of  the  British  Alkali  Works  at 
Stoke,  then  very  extensive  and  prosperous. 

"  It  was  in  the  twilight  of  an  evening  in  the  end  of 
summer  that — on  the  top  of  a  coach  which  I  remember  was 
called  the  True  Blue — we  reached  the  cottage.  I  had  been 
most  anxious  to  get  in  before  dark,  lest  I  should  not  see 
the  new  home — and  I  remember  well  the  dark  green  house, 
with  its  tiled  roof  against  the  gray  sky,  and  the  trees 
behind,  and  the  meadow  beside  it,  and  the  garden  in  front 
and  the  garden  gate :  and  then  my  mother's  exclamation 
of  delight  at  seeing  her  weakly  boy  grown  and  well-looking 
— and  the  pleasure  that  my  little  sisters,  who  had  sat  up  so 
much  after  bed-time  to  see  me,  took  both  in  me  and  in  an 
Indian  Rubber  Bouncing-Ball  blown  full  of  air,  and  shut  in 
a  net  of  red  and  blue  and  yellow,  which  had  been  given 
me  for  our  joint  enjoyment. 

"  I  have  flitting  notions  about  my  fairy  sister  that  evening, 
her  bright  cheeks,  her  warm  kisses,  and  the  pressure  of  her 
little  hands  and  arms — at  this  time  and  for  years  Harriet 


To  /ace  page  20,  vol.  i 

1829-1844  BROOK   HOUSE  21 

was  wholly  my  favourite — nearer  to  my  own  age  she  was, 
and  I  think  that  her  being  very  different  from  myself  had 
much  to  do  with  this  feeling. 

"  We  did  not  stay  long  at  Ivy  Cottage.  It  had  been 
only  taken  until  a  larger  house  away  from  the  village  was 
empty.  To  this  then  we  removed.  It  was  called  the 
Brook  House.  It  was  a  farm-house,  with  farm-yard  and 
barns  and  a  lawn,  large  gardens  and  a  good  orchard.  In 
front  a  sunk  fence,  the  scene  of  many  an  adventure  and 
many  a  bruise,  separated  the  lawn  from  a  meadow — rare 
haymakings  there  were  witnessed — which  sloped  down  to 
the  brook  from  which  the  house  was  called :  it  was  a  pretty 
brook  shaded  with  willows,  with  one  or  two  dark  pools,  of 
the  depth  of  which  we  had  most  awful  and  mysterious 
notions — beside  one  of  these  an  old  man  used  day  by  day 
to  take  his  seat  to  angle ;  there  is  a  sketch  of  it  which 
Uncle  Alfred  took  with  the  old  fisherman  at  his  post — the 
brook  crossed  the  road  which  ran  past  the  end  of  the  house, 
and  then  turned  along  the  side  of  the  road  and  up  by  some 
cottages.  We  three  knew  every  gap  in  the  hedges,  every 
cleft  in  the  sandstone  side  of  the  brook,  every  possible  ford 
or  half  ford,  far  round  about — and  I  can  see  them  now, 
and  the  cottages  and  the  simple  folks  that  lived  there,  and 
how  much  they  used  to  make  of  us  children,  enticing  us  to 
eat  honey  and  fruit,  and  the  clownish  boys  giving  us 
handfuls  of  birds'  eggs — beyond  the  brook  the  lane  ran  up 
into  the  Worcester  Road.  It  was  a  fine  dusk  elmy  lane 
then,  and  owls  which  we  used  to  suppose  had  very  fearful 
powers  over  lonely  boys  dwelt  there  innumerable — but  in 
the  warm  late  evenings  of  summer  I  used  to  like  to  walk 
there  with  my  mother  and  hear  them,  though  always 
keeping  very  close  beside  her. 

"  At  the  Brook  House,  as  afterwards  at  Winson  Green, 
my  father  used  to  teach  me  Latin  and  Geometry  and  the 

22  IMAGINATIVENESS  aet.  1-15 

easy  parts  of  Algebra,  while  at  his  breakfast,  and  at  his 
spare  time  from  dinner.  I  made  progress,  but  was  very- 
idle,  and  sadly  addicted  to  lying ;  I  used  to  be  severely 
punished,  but  it  was  my  most  easily  besetting  sin.  I  can 
even  remember  monstrous  figments  which  when  quite  a 
child  I  used  to  relate  to  strangers,  for  I  was  immensely 
talkative — and  herein  differed  Harriet  from  me.  One  of 
the  bitterest,  if  not  the  bitterest,  reproaches  I  ever  knew, 
was  once  when  a  person  said  that  the  thing  amiss,  whatever 
it  may  have  been,  must  have  been  done  by  Harriet,  though 
she  had  denied  it ;  my  mother  said,  '  Harriet  never  told 
an  untruth ' — and  I  firmly  believe  it  might  have  been  said 
with  as  much  truth  fourteen  or  fifteen  years  later  as  it 
was  then." 

In  illustration  of  this  last  statement  I  remember  my 
father  telling  me  that  when  they  lived  at  Brook  House  he 
was  returning  alone  from  the  village,  and  in  the  dust  of 
the  road,  on  the  bridge  which  crossed  the  stream,  he  saw 
lying  a  thing  that  looked  like  a  snake,  with  objects  like 
small  wheels  on  its  head,  that  were  running  round  and 
round  at  a  furious  rate  so  that  the  dust  flew  up  in 
clouds.  He  was  too  much  frightened  to  examine  it,  but 
ran  home  and  told  his  mother.  He  was  sent,  to  substantiate 
his  history,  to  look  for  the  object  and  bring  it  home,  but  it 
was  gone  ;  and  he  was  whipped  for  telling  a  lie.  "  Yet,  I 
can  see  it  still,"  he  used  to  say,  "  as  it  lay  there."  And  it  is 
a  clear  instance  of  a  vivid  childish  imagination. 

My  grandfather,  finding  his  family  growing  up,  began 
to  cast  about  for  some  means  of  increasing  his  limited 
income,  and  endeavoured  to  turn  to  account  some  of  his 
chemical  discoveries ;  a  patent  for  the  manufacture  of 
cobalt  was  obtained,  and  he  eventually  went  into  partner- 
ship with  some  friends  for  the  manufacture  of  white-lead 
in  1838.     They  founded  the  British  White-Lead  Company, 

1829-1844  THE   WHITE-LEAD    WORKS  23 

and  built  large  works  on  Birmingham  Heath.  My  grand- 
father invested  his  whole  fortune  in  the  concern.  His 
health  at  this  time  began  to  decline ;  he  took  an  old  house 
with  a  pleasant  garden  at  Winson  Green,  some  way  from 
the  Works,  but  finding  the  daily  walks  too  much  for  him, 
moved  first  to  Spring  Hill  in  Birmingham,  and  finally  into 
a  small  house  in  the  Works,  which  had  been  built  for  a 
Manager.  In  this  house  my  father's  life  was  mainly  spent, 
till  he  left  school.  He  used  to  speak  of  the  Works  as 
being  then  quite  in  the  country,  with  much  open,  even 
wild,  ground  all  about.  He  used  to  recall  with  particular 
delight  the  adjacent  canal  where  water-flags  grew  luxu- 

The  business  at  first  prospered  greatly,  but  eventually 
in  1842,  owing  to  insufficient  capital,  the  Company  failed; 
the  worry  told  on  my  grandfather's  health,  never  very 
strong,  and  in  Feb.  1843  he  died,  rather  suddenly,  after 
enduring  horrible  sufferings,  from  an  internal  tumour. 

On  his  death  the  partners  made  an  arrangement  with 
my  grandmother  greatly  to  her  disadvantage,  though  kindly 

They  offered  her  the  house  for  life,  and  in  lieu  of  the 
income  that  my  grandfather  received  as  partner,  they  gave 
her  an  annuity  to  terminate  with  her  life.  It  was  an  un- 
fortunate thing  that  she  accepted  it,  but  she  shared  my 
grandfather's  views  about  money,  and  took  exactly  what 
was  offered  her.  She  was  in  strong  health  herself  and  no 
doubt  thought  that  she  would  eventually  be  able  to  save 
money  :  the  Works  were  closed,  but  my  grandmother  re- 
tained the  house,  and  the  children  had  the  run  of  the 
disused  buildings. 

In  a  little  room  that  had  formerly  been  an  office,  in 
the  silent  and  deserted  factory,  my  father  established  an 
Oratory  ;  here  was  a  table  rudely  draped,  and  stools  for 

24  THE   ORATORY  aet.  1-15 

kneeling.  The  walls  were  hung  with  rubbings  of  brasses 
from  neighbouring  Churches ;  on  the  table  stood  a  plain 
wooden  Cross,  made  by  an  old  carpenter  and  paid  for  out  of 
the  boy's  scanty  pocket-money.  It  is  very  characteristic  of 
my  father's  critical  love  of  detail  that  he  told  me  what  a 
blow  it  had  been  to  him  when  he  found  that  the  carpenter 
had  neatly  rounded  off  the  ends  of  the  Cross,  to  make  it 
look  more  finished,  instead  of  leaving  them  square.  Here 
he  said  the  Canonical  Hours  daily,  alone,  or  with  some 
school  friend — and  he  had  several — of  like  tastes. 

But  what  redeems  this  story  from  the  domain  of  pre- 
cocious sentiment  is,  that  my  father  was  much  annoyed  by 
surreptitious  visits  made  to  his  private  Chapel  by  his 
sisters,  in  his  enforced  absence  at  school,  and  to  show  that 
Grace  was  not  yet  wholly  triumphant,  he  made  an  ingenious 
device  which  automatically  both  recorded  and  avenged  the 
advent  of  any  intruding  worshipper:  he  had  as  yet  no 
democratic  views  about  the  right  to  worship,  and,  as  he 
afterwards  said,  his  interest  in  liturgical  things  was  for 
many  years  mainly  an  aesthetic  one.  Still  it  may  be 
noted  that  in  one  of  his  earliest  letters,  written  to  his  uncle 
William  Jackson,  in  1843,  the  following  postscript,  dashed 
in  hastily  in  his  odd  formal  handwriting,  occurs :  "  Dear 
Uncle,  if  I  continue  to  wish  to  be  a  clergyjnan,  do  you  tJiink 
tJiere  is  any  probability  of  it  ?     E.  VV.  B." 

My  father  entered  King  Edward's  School  at  Birmingham 
at  the  age  of  eleven  ;  Mr  Prince  Lee,  afterwards  Bishop  of 
Manchester,  being  Headmaster,  His  first  year  was  a  very 
happy  one  ;  he  was  in  the  form  of  the  Rev.  George  Moyle, 
afterwards  Headmaster  of  Chudleigh  School,  a  strict  disci- 
plinarian but  a  just  and  kindly  teacher.  "  I  like  Mr  Moyle 
as  well  as  it  is  possible  to  love  a  master,"  he  wrote  to  his 
uncle.  He  used  to  say  that  he  owed  more  to  Mr  Moyle 
than   to    any   of  his   other   teachers   except    Prince    Lee, 

From  a  photograph  by  F.  0.  Lane,  Esq.,  M.A. 

To  face  page  24,  vol.  i 

1829-1844  SCHOOL  25 

because  he  grounded  him  well  and  made  him  work.  My 
father  many  years  after  said  to  Mr  Moyle's  son  (Walter 
Moyle,  who  was  in  the  Sixth  Form  at  Wellington  just 
before  my  father  left,  and  is  now  Rector  of  Ashcombe  near 
Dawlish),  "  If  I  had  not  worked  that  first  year  under  your 
father,  I  could  never  have  recovered  the  time  lost  after- 
wards." To  show  how  unsophisticated  my  father  was  in 
educational  things,  he  has  told  me  that  when  he  was  first 
with  Mr  Moyle,  he  was  told  to  make  up  some  nonsense 
verses  in  Latin  which  were  to  scan  and  not  construe.  He 
thought  at  once  with  immense  pleasure  of  a  sort  of  cipher 
in  the  Penny  or  Saturday  Magazine,  by  which,  by  substi- 
tuting given  words  for  numbers,  Latin  verses  were  produced. 
He  therefore  presented  his  astonished  master  with  a  copy  of 
flowing  elegiacs  written  out  in  a  beautiful  hand,  on  "Spring," 
and,  in  spite  of  his  tearful  protestations  that  he  thought 
that  was  how  he  was  expected  to  do  them,  he  was  seriously 
taken  to  task  for  dishonesty. 

But  this  period  of  diligence  did  not  last  long ;  he  was 
transferred  ct  the  end  of  his  first  year  to  a  very  different 
kind  of  master,  and  had  a  period  of  unmitigated  wretched- 
ness ;  his  hone  education  had  been  desultory  and  he  had 
never  learnt  how  to  manage  his  time :  under  Mr  Moyle's 
firm  and  kindl;  rule  this  difficulty  had  been  non-existent, 
but  he  was  ncv  left  more  to  his  own  resources,  and  the 
result  was  tha  as  he  told  me,  for  weeks  together,  he 
believed,  he  w.s  caned  every  day.  Let  one  instance 
suffice.  The  firt  time  that  he  showed  up  composition  to 
his  new  form-mster,  writing,  as  was  his  wont,  "  White 
Benson  "  at  the  tp,  he  was  greeted  with  "  very  impertinent 
for  a  boy  to  wrie  his  sobriquet  at  the  top  of  his  paper : 
stand  out ! "  Th  result  of  this  kind  of  discipline  was 
that  he  became  ice,  frivolous,  disobedient,  rebellious  and 
thoroughly  unhapj/. 

26  SCHOOL   FRIENDS  aet.  1-15 

At  home,  too,  things  were  in  a  melancholy  condition ; 
the  Works  had  been  closed  ;  his  father,  whose  health  was 
miserable,  was  in  constant  pain,  spent  sleepless  nights  and 
suffered  from  great  dejection  of  spirits.  Earl}-  in  1843  he 
died,  and  the  boy  at  the  most  critical  period  of  his  life 
lost  his  father's  wise  and  affectionate  control. 

On  the  other  hand  he  gained  influence  and  self-respect 
from  his  school  friendships  which  gave  him  great  delight. 
Brooke  Foss  Westcott,  now  Bishop  of  Durham,  was  then 
a  senior  boy,  and  my  father  has  told  me  with  what  awe  he 
used  to  watch  the  First  Class  round  Prince  Lee's  desk, 
Westcott  leaning  his  head  on  his  hand,  the  only  boy  who 
was    permitted    this    luxury.     Owing   to  their  respective 
positions  in  the  school,  my  father  hardly  made   his    ac- 
quaintance while  at  Birmingham.     But  there  was  a  boy  a 
year  older  than  himself,  Joseph  Barber  Lightfoot,  the  late 
Bishop  of  Durham, — whose  mother  then  lived  a  little  way 
out  of  Birmingham, — with  whom  he  was  soon  on  terms  of 
intimacy.     Other  friends  were  Fred  Wickendeu,  afterwards 
a  Prebendary  of  Lincoln,  a  boy  keenly  devoted  to  art  and 
antiquities,  and  very  dearly  beloved  by  my  father ;  C.  B. 
Hutchinson,  Master  at   Rugby  and   now  Cmon   of  Can- 
terbury,   R.    M.    Moorsom    and    his   brothe/,    Constantine 
Moorsom,  now  Moorsom  Maude,  agent  to  L)rd  Harewood, 
Charles  Evans,  afterwards  Headmaster  of  fving  Edward's 
School,  J.  T.  Pearse,  now  Rector  of  Chidangstone,  Kent, 
A.  H.  Louis\  A.  A.  Ellis,  late  Vicar  of  Stifold,  E.  J.  Pur- 
brick,  afterwards  Rector  of  Stonyhurst,  Jovincial  of  the 
English  Jesuits,  and  now  Provincial  of  tie  Jesuits  in  the 
United  States,  Henry  Palmer,  and  many  cpers.    Westcott's 
father  was  a  scientific  man  and  Secretar/to  the  Botanical 

^  Alfred  H.  Louis,  who  gained  the  first  e.xhibpn  at  King  Edward's 
School  in  1847,  beating  Lightfoot :  took  an  aegrot/degree  at  Trinity,  was 
called  to  the  Bar,  and  was  sub-editor  of  the  Specaor. 

1829-1844      FRIENDSHIP   WITH    LIGHTFOOT 


Gardens  at  Birmingham.  Lightfoot's  father  was  an  ac- 
countant, formerly  of  Liverpool,  his  mother  a  Miss  Barber 
sister  of  the  well-known  artist.  Moorsom's  father  was  Ad- 
miral Moorsom,  a  railway  director ;  VVickenden's  father  a 
well-known  Birmingham  surgeon.  They  were  all  day  bo}^s. 
The  road  leading  from  Birmingham  to  the  White-Lead 
Works  at  Birmingham  Heath  bifurcated  at  one  point ;  and 
by  the  other  branch  of  the  road  Lightfoot  daily  made  his 
way  to  school ;  the  two  boys  made  an  arrangement  to 
meet  here,  waiting  for  each  other,  if  there  was  time.     The 

THE    ARCHBISHOP   AS    A    BOY,    CIRCA    1841. 
After  a  drawing  by  a  School/clloiv. 

first  that  arrived,  if  the  time  pressed,  had  to  place  a  stone 
in  a  hole  in  the  wall  as  a  signal  that  he  had  been  there. 

28  THE    MATTHEW   QUESTIONS  aet.  13 

The  boys  also  took  long  walks  together  on  the  half- 
holidays,  and  explored  the  antiquities  of  the  neighbour- 
hood. They  were  keen  theologians  and  discussed  what 
they  read  with  freedom.  Lightfoot  was  famous  in  those 
days  for  his  capacity  for  bearing  pain,  and  my  father  has 
seen  him  submitting  his  hand  to  be  squeezed  by  anyone 
who  liked  to  try ;  one  friend  of  great  strength  squeezed 
his  hand  so  hard  that  Lightfoot  became  white  with  pain. 
"  Shall  I  stop  .-* "  said  the  tormentor.  "  No,"  with  a  faint 
groan,  "  Go  on." 

I  may  here  mention  an  amusing  incident  connected  with 
my  father's  first  appearance  in  print  in  the  year  1842.  He 
and  Henry  Palmer,  mentioned  above,  conceived  a  great 
admiration  for  some  questions  set  them  weekly  on  the 
Gospel  of  St  Matthew  by  one  of  the  masters ;  they  took 
them  down,  and  eventually,  without  considering  that  they 
were  not  their  own,  had  them  printed  at  a  cost  of  some 
four  pounds  and  exposed  for  sale,  "  for  the  use  of  schools  " 
in  a  small  green  paper  cover.  This  curious  little  book,  of 
which  I  have  a  copy,  was  my  father's  first  literary  venture. 
Needless  to  say  not  more  than  a  copy  or  two  sold,  and 
financial  ruin  stared  them  in  the  face.  My  father  confessed 
and  the  money  was  paid  ;  but  a  correspondence  on  the 
subject  may  here  be  inserted.  It  is  interesting  to  know 
that  the  reconciliation  was  completed. 

To  Henry  Palmer. 


Will  you  be  kind  enough  to  pay  Wrightsons  and 
Webbs  the  half  of  the  ;£t^.  15^.  which  is  owing  to  them  for  the 
Matthew  Questions  ?  I  will  pay  my  share ;  you  can  then  do  what 
you  like  with  that  half  of  the  copies  still  remaining,  which  falls  to 
your  share,  I  will  take  mine.  The  letter  which  you  sent  me 
being  overweight,  I  have  had  to  pay  2d.  for  it;  this  you  must 
have  known. 

You  know  as  well  as  I  do,  that  the  letter  in  which  I  called 

1842  TRACTS    FOR   THE   TIMES  29 

you  a  rogue  was  written  in  jolce,  but  as  you  have  chosen  to  take  it 
in  earnest,  Remember — "qui  capit,  ille  facit,"  "  He  whom  the  cap 
fits  must  wear  it." 

I  say  also  as  you  have  assigned  a  reason  why  /  am  a  fool,  I 
will  tell  yoti  why  you  are  a  rogue.  You  wish  to  break  off  all 
connection  between  us.     Be  it  so. 

E.    W.    B. 

H.  Pahner  to  E.  W.  B. 

(Reply  to  preceding.) 
Read  quickly. 

Read  this  note  as  if  nothing  had  arisen  between  us. 

I  have  mistaken  and  wronged  you  in  your  letter,  and  am  sorry 
for  it,  but  all  the  same  you  have  wronged  me. 

I  did  not  suppose  that  your  letter  was  a  joke,  but — knowing 
that  your  first  was — I  wrote  one  which  was  intended  as  a  joke, 
but  which  from  your  second  letter  I  thought  you  had  wilfully 

You  wrong  me  for  supposing  that  I  wished  to  get  out  of  the 
Matthew  Questions — such  a  purpose  never  entered  my  thoughts— 
on  the  contrary,  I  have  increased  means  of  paying  my  share  and 
an  opportunity  of  very  likely  disposing  of  the  whole. 

The  letter,  I  did  not  send  overweight  on  purpose.  I  am 
surprised  you  should  think  so. 

I  do  not  wish  to  break  off  with  you,  and  can  explain  why  I 
was  not  disposed  to  receive  your  letter  as  a  joke  at  this  particular 

You  mistake  and  deceive  yourself  in  your  threat.  If  you  wish 
to  make  up  with  me  as  I  do  with  you,  I  am  waiting  outside  to 
see  you. 

H.  Palmer. 

Not  long  after  my  grandfather's  death,  my  grandmother 
very  wisely  got  my  father  a  member's  ticket  for  the  Free 
Library  at  Birmingham.  He  fell  in  with  the  Tracts  for  the 
Times,  and  read  them  with  avidity,  finally  taking  out  the 
book  and  reading  it  as  he  walked  homewards.  As  he  walked 
he  heard  behind  him  a  light  footstep,  and  looking  up  saw 
to   his   great  surprise  his  mother  who    had    walked    into 

30  A   BUSINESS    OFFER  aet.  1-15 

Birmingham.  "What  book  have  you  got,  White?"  He 
handed  it  to  her  in  silence,  knowing  that  her  strong 
Protestantism  would  take  fright.  She  looked  at  the  title 
and  they  walked  on  for  some  time  in  silence ;  presently 
she  gave  him  the  book  back.  "  I  don't  care  for  the  book, 
White,  nor  for  the  people  who  write  such  things :  but  I 
don't  wish  to  stop  you  reading  what  you  wish :  only  you 
ought  to  think,  would  your  father  have  approved  of  it?" 
"  Yes,  mother,  I  have  thought  of  that,  and  I  think  he  would 
wish  me  to  be  acquainted  with  what  is  going  on  in  the 
Church."  "  Very  well,  White,  then  I  haven't  another  word 
to  say." 

When  my  father  was  in  his  sixteenth  year  an  incident 
occurred  which  nearly  changed  the  course  of  his  whole  life. 
A  partner  in  a  commercial  house  at  Birmingham,  who  had 
been  a  personal  friend  of  my  grandfather's,  hearing  that 
Mrs  Benson  was  not  well  off,  wrote  to  her  a  very  kind 
letter  offering  to  take  her  eldest  son  into  the  business  on 
very  favourable  terms,  with  an  eventual  prospect  of  a  part- 
nership:  he  added  "it  is  as  good  as  making  his  fortune." 
Mrs  Benson  consulted  her  late  husband's  half-brother 
William  Jackson,  who  wrote  to  Prince  Lee  to  ask  his 
advice.  Prince  Lee  replied  that  Benson  was  a  boy  of  very 
great  promise  and  should  be  kept  at  school.  Mrs  Benson 
thereupon  went  with  William  Jackson  and  his  sister  Mrs 
Chavasse,  to  call  upon  Prince  Lee,  who  told  her  that  he 
was  confident  that  the  boy  would  never  make  a  man  of 
business,  but  that  he  would  probably  do  exceedingly  well 
if  he  stuck  to  school  and  went  to  the  University.  The 
result  of  this  was  that  William  Jackson  and  John  Benson 
Sidgwick  offered  to  pay  my  father's  expenses  at  school, 
and  to  start  him  at  the  University,  an  offer  which  was 
gratefully  accepted. 

One  word  here  must  be  said  about  the  William  Jackson 


mentioned  above.  He  was  my  grandfather's  half-brother 
by  Mrs  White  Benson's  second  marriage  to  the  Rev 
Stephen  Jackson.  He  was  a  Fellow  of  Worcester  College, 
Oxford,  and  Bampton  Lecturer  in  1875.  He  was  a  man 
of  great  gifts,  an  admirable  preacher  and  a  considerable 
antiquary.  He  gave  my  father  the  most  liberal  assistance 
in  the  form  of  books  and  money,  and  my  father  constantly 
consulted  him  and  profited  by  his  affectionate  and  sensible 
advice  ;  I  do  not  think  my  father  ever  had  a  truer  or  more 
generous  friend. 

The  impression  which  he  produced  on  his  schoolfellows 
was  a  very  strong  one.  Canon  C.  B.  Hutchinson,  his  life- 
long friend,  writes : 

He  was  a  quick  and  eager  reader,  and  his  circle  of  subjects 
was  very  wide.  The  "  Old  Library  "  at  Birmingham  was  an  ex- 
cellent one  :  there  he  might  be  found  every  day,  between  morning 
and  afternoon  school,  intent  on  the  volume  he  had  before  him. 
Long  before  he  left  school  for  Cambridge  he  had  read,  in  his 
private  work,  the  whole  of  Livy — a  very  unusual  achievement  for 
a  boy  at  school — and  the  whole  of  Herodotus  and  Thucydides. 
His  interleaved  copy  of  Herodotus,  with  exquisitely  written  notes 
on  every  page,  was  an  object  of  admiration — I  had  almost  said  of 
veneration — to  his  friends,  and  proved  the  care  and  thoroughness 
of  his  work.  His  memory  was  quick  and  retentive,  and  he  could 
repeat  poetry  or  prose,  Greek,  Latin  and  EngHsh,  with  delightful 
expression  and  unhesitating  flow.  Among  other  things,  I  think 
he  could  have  recited  most  of  the  Psalter  without  a  book,  and  a 
considerable  part  of  it  in  the  Latin  Version,  of  which  he  was  very 
fond.  This  gift  of  his  was  a  special  enjoyment  to  a  few  intimate 
companions,  with  whom  he  used  to  take  long  walks  in  holiday 
afternoons,  or  still  longer  excursions  on  the  few  "  whole  holidays  " 
that  were  given,  as  the  Queen's  birthday,  and  Founder's  Day. 
On  one  of  these  we  started,  Benson  and  Lightfoot  and  I,  to  walk 
from  Birmingham  to  Coventry  and  examine  its  churches  and 
quaint  buildings ;  and  I  remember  that  as  we  walked  there  he 
gave  us  a  clear  account  of  the  arguments  on  either  side,  in 
Cardinal  Wiseman's  Controversy  with  Dr  Turton,  the  Bishop  of 
Ely  :  and  on  our  way  back  he  cheered  our  flagging  spirits  and  put 

32     REMINISCENCES  OF  SCHOOL  FRIENDS    aet.  1-15 

fresh  springiness  into  our  tired  legs  by  his  graphic  stories,  or 
vigorous  recitations.  And  so,  instead  of  dropping  on  the  road,  we 
accomplished  our  40  miles'  walk,  and  reached  home  quite  lively. 

He  was  very  fond  of  architecture  and  could  sketch  quickly, 
with  a  light  and  effective  touch ;  and  as  he  always  read  up  the 
history  and  antiquities  of  the  places  or  churches  we  visited,  he 
was  an  admirable  guide  and  companion.  It  was  while  still  at 
School  that  he  laid  the  foundation  of  his  remarkable  knowledge 
of  Liturgies  and  Church  Ritual ;  studies  that  he  pursued  con 
amore;  for  with  a  spirit  of  devotion  and  reverence,  he  united  a 
love  of  order  and  dignity  in  Ceremonial :  and  it  was  a  thoroughly 
characteristic  answer  that  he  gave  to  a  friend  who  asked  him 
"  What  he  would  like  to  be."  "  I  should  like  to  be  a  Canon,  and 
recite  the  daily  offices  in  my  Cathedral." 

His  entire  freedom  from  affectation  or  self-consciousness,  his 
modesty  and  courtesy  and  consideration  for  others,  with  his 
constant  high  standard  of  thought  and  conduct,  and  his  winning 
smile  and  sympathetic  manner,  secured  him  great  influence  and 
esteem  amongst  all  his  schoolfellows.  As  an  illustration  of  the 
effect  produced  on  others  by  the  simple  dignity  and  graciousness 
of  his  manner,  a  leading  Physician  of  the  Midland  Counties  who 
had  invited  Benson  with  other  schoolfellows  to  keep  his  son's 
birthday,  ventured  a  prophecy  as  he  pointed  at  Benson — "that 
boy  is  a  born  courtier,  and  he  will  prove  it  later  on."  But  it  was 
not  this  feature  that  impressed  his  companions,  though  they  never 
had  a  doubt  that  a  brilliant  future  awaited  him ;  it  was  the  feeling 
that  there  was  in  him  something  higher,  purer,  more  spiritual  than 
they  could  realise  elsewhere,  which  made  us  all  feel  while  with 
him  that  we  could  live  a  better  life,  frame  fairer  ideals,  and  feel 
more  able  to  carry  them  into  practice  than  at  other  times. 

A  schoolfellow  met  us  one  morning  on  our  way  down  to  First 
Lesson, — "And  how  is  the  Bensonian  Etheriality?"  he  said.  The 
euphuistic  affectation  was  absurd  :  but  I  have  often  since  thought 
it  conveyed  a  striking  truth  :  for  indeed  he  seemed  to  live  in  a 
refined  pellucid  atmosphere.  "  Whatsoever  things  are  pure,  what- 
soever things  are  lovely,"  were  the  objects  that  he  set  before  him, 
and  exemplified  by  thought  and  word  and  deed. 

The  Rev.  R.  M.  Moorsom,  another  schoolfellow,  writes : 

He  did  not  play  at  cricket  or  football  or  racquets  or  fives  or 
even  hockey,  nor  at  rounders  and  cloisters-cricket,  except  very 

1829-1844  EARLY   LETTERS  33 

rarely;  and  as  he  had  pluck  and  enthusiasm  we  often  wondered  why- 
he  did  not  join  in  our  games.  But  gradually  a  vague  unexpressed 
idea  arose  in  our  minds  that  he  had  to  begin  the  struggle  of  life 
earlier  than  the  rest  of  us,  that  his  father  being  dead  he  had  to 
prepare  early  to  work  for  the  support  of  his  mother  and  sisters 
and  crippled  brother,  and  that  he  was  even  then  putting  away  the 
pleasures  of  life  and  at  its  outset  choosing  its  duties  rather  than 
its  enjoyments.  So  we  honoured  him,  though  he  could  not  throw 
away  halfcrowns  on  amusements,  or  spend  his  afternoons  in  games 
with  us;  he  had  to  fill  his  father's  works  again  with  machinery  and 
workmen;  that  was  his  youthful  ambition,  and  we  thought  him  a 
nobler  fellow  than  ourselves  for  turning  away  from  what  delighted 
us  and  choosing  what  would  aid  his  family;  and  we  respected  him 

Even  when  at  school  he  was  a  keen  Churchman;  he  astonished 
us  by  the  energy  with  which  he  spoke  of  the  crime  of  plundering 
the  Church  in  the  sixteenth  century,  of  the  cruelties  inflicted  on 
the  monks,  and  of  the  just  vengeance  of  God  in  punishing  those 
families  who  still  held  to  their  sacrilege  and  their  booty.  He 
would  glory  in  the  thought  that  he  was  being  educated  in  a 
Church  school  founded  with  Church  money,  by  wise  Churchmen 
who  had  rescued  Church  property  from  the  greedy  hands  of  the 

I  subjoin  one  of  my  father's  early  letters,  written  when 
he  was  nearly  fifteen. 

To  his  Mother:   on  a  visit  to  Mrs  William  Sidgwick, 
his  great-autit. 

Skipton  Castle. 

Thursday  eve7tiiig. 

My  dear  Mama, 

I  arrived  in  Manchester  on  Tuesday  morning  without 
any  very  serious  accident ;  the  utmost  damage  I  sustained  was 
breaking  the  egg  in  my  coat  pocket,  and  getting  my  fingers  well 
bedaubed.  There  were  many  things  that  struck  me  as  I  passed 
them,  but  I  have  forgotten  them  all,  for  railway  travelling  is  to  me 
just  like  dreaming.  The  only  things  I  remember  are  Stafford 
Station,  and  Stafford  Castle  "Bosom'd  high  'mid  tufted  trees." 
B.  I.  •? 

34  VISIT   TO    MANCHESTER  aet.  1-15 

When  I  got  to  Manchester  I  waited  some  time  for  my  uncle,  but 
as  he  did  not  come,  I  got  a  ticket  porter  and  went  to  his  ofifice. 
When  I  came  there  he  was  not  in,  so  I  walked  into  his  sitting- 
room,  took  a  book,  sat  me  down  and  looked  at  the  pictures,— as 
for  reading  it  was  impossible  to  attempt  it,  for  all  the  letters  ran 
over  the  edge  of  the  book  like  the  milestones  on  the  railroad. 
About  12  o'clock  my  uncle'  came  in  and  said  I  had  told  him  the 
wrong  time  for  the  arrival  of  the  train,  and  that  I  had  kept  him 
waiting  above  an  hour !  Then  he  took  me  to  see  the  town,  we 
went  pretty  near  all  over  it,  and  he  took  me  to  the  Athenaeum 
and  set  my  name  down.  Then  we  went  home  again  and  had 
dinner.  I  do  not  like  Manchester;  the  buildings  are  nasty, 
though  handsome,  and  the  streets  are  too  clean  to  be  comfortable. 
A  Mr  Lodge  dined  with  us,  "a  youngish  man,  rather  handsome 
— tall — good  business — several  thousands  " — so  said  my  uncle. 
After  dinner  Mr  Lodge  and  my  uncle  wanted  to  have  some  talk, 
and  I  went  to  the  Athenaeum,  and  read  Martin  Chuzzlewit,  last 
number.  I  then  went  back  to  the  office,  and  went  with  my  uncle 
to  tea  with  Mr  John  Wilson,  a  calico  printer.  He  has  a  beautiful 
house  about  four  miles  out  of  town.  We  had  a  very  good  tea  in 
cups  about  as  big  as  a  milk  basin,  almost  put  my  head  in  them — 
not  quite  though — he  showed  us  a  most  beautiful  collection  of 
Italian  pictures,  all  except  one  or  two  on  disagreeable  subjects — 
for  instance,  Apollo  flaying  Marsyas,  he  is  stripping  the  skin  from 
his  arm,  and  thrusting  his  fist  in  to  make  it  come  off  more  easily 
— nice  idea  that !  We  left  Mr  Wilson's  at  about  10  o'clock,  went 
home,  went  to  bed,  went  to  sleep,  but  awoke  with  a  start,  thinking 
that  the  bed  ran  against  Stafford  Castle  and  made  my  nose  bleed. 
My  uncle  wanted  me  very  much  to  stay  another  day,  to  see  the 
flower  show,  but  I  was  afraid  my  aunt  might  not  like  it,  so  I  did 
not.  I  went  by  the  mail  at  seven  o'clock  next  morning, — I  never 
enjoyed  a  ride  more  in  my  life.  I  must  tell  you  about  it  some 
time.  By  the  bye,  I  almost  forgot  to  tell  you,  but  all  the  way  in 
the  railroad,  I  could  not  help  thinking  of  a  text  in  Isaiah,  "  Every 
valley  shall  be  exalted,  and  every  mountain  shall  be  brought  low, 
and  the  crooked  shall  be  made  straight,  etc." 

When  I  came  to  Skipton  I  gave  the  guard  and  coachman  a 
shilling  between  them,  at  which  they  grumbled  very  much,  and 
assured  me  it  was  not  enough.     The  footman  met  me  there  and 

^  Mr,  afterwards  Sir  Thomas  Baker. 

1829-1844  SKIPTON   CASTLE  35 

carried  my  bag  for  me.  The  Castle  was  about  a  quarter  of  the 
size  I  expected,  "I  looked,  I  stared,  etc." 

"So  narrow  seemed  the  towers,  the  court  so  small." 

Wordsworth — Hem! — My  cousins  were  none  of  them  at  home, 
but  my  Aunt  was  walking  in  the  Castle  Yard.  She  was  very 
glad  to  see  me. 

I  am  so  tired  with  pleasure,  I  don't  know  what  to  do.  My 
Aunt  is  not  at  all  strict,  except  that  I  am  obliged  to  eat  bread 
and  butter  with  a  knife  and  fork.  Mr  Robert  Sidgwick  is  come 
home,  he  is  just  like  my  papa  in  manners,  voice  and  everything. 

I  remain,  my  dear  Mama, 

Your  affectionate  son, 

E.  W.  Benson. 



"  Tela  manu  ja7n  turn  teiiera  ptierilia  torszi."     VlRGIL. 

The  influences  under  which  my  father's  h'fe  were 
moulded  were,  I  have  shown,  very  various,  and  singularly 
favourable  to  the  production  of  an  independent  and  affec- 
tionate disposition. 

There  was  first  the  piety  of  his  father's  character,  a 
piety  broadened  by  intimate  acquaintance  with  matters 
scientific.  Then  he  had  a  very  affectionate  and  cultivated 
home  circle,  full  of  interest  in  books  and  art ;  but  at  the 
same  time  there  was  no  kind  of  luxury,  indeed,  the  bracing 
discipline  of  poverty — not  the  poverty  which  degrades,  but 
the  poverty  which  condemns  the  unnecessary  and  is  strict 
with  itself  On  the  other  hand  he  had  plenty  of  genial 
social  influences  in  his  numerous  visits  to  the  friendly 
country  houses  of  his  various  cousins  and  relations  at 
Skipton  and  the  neighbourhood.  Lastly  he  was  under  the 
influence  of  a  profoundly  stimulating  teacher,  who  exer- 
cised a  personal  fascination  on  his  pupils  both  in  the 
direction  of  literary  taste  and  religious  feeling.  From  Lee 
he  caught  the  sacred  fire,  the  desire  of  knowledge ;  the 
belief  that  while  it  is  the  imperative  duty  of  every  man  to 
do,  it  is  no  less  imperative,  in  order  to  make  doing  effective, 
to  know.     Then   too    he  was    surrounded    by  an    equally 

1844-1848  PRINCE   LEE  37 

enthusiastic  and  congenial  circle  of  intimate  friends. 
With  all  these  things,  with  health  and  wit  and  light- 
heartedness  and  a  sense  of  duty,  and  a  love  of  things  fair 
and  pure,  and  personal  charm  and  beauty,  he  was  well 
equipped  for  happiness — happiness  of  which  he  experienced 
much  in  his  life,  though  I  think  seldom  consciously. 

For  Prince  Lee  he  had  an  almost  romantic  attachment. 
He  was  never  tired  of  talking  of  his  teaching.  In  the  first 
place  Lee  had  a  marvellous  memory,  seldom  using  a  book 
in  school,  and  being  able  to  repeat  page  after  page  of 
Thucydides  without  a  mistake.  The  consequence  of  this 
was  that  all  his  scholars  who  resolved  to  be  not  only  like 
him  but  exactly  like  him,  learnt  immense  portions  of  the 
classics  by  heart.  My  father,  whose  memory,  though 
lively,  can  never  have  been  accurate,  learnt  as  many  as 
five  or  six  books  of  Virgil  by  heart,  and  could  for  many 
years  repeat  them  continuously.  The  great  delight  of  the 
boys  was,  however,  the  Greek  Testament  teaching,  into 
which  Lee  threw  himself  with  such  remarkable  energy, 
that  he  would  often  keep  his  First  Class  long  after  the 
appointed  hour  and  yet  never  provoke  a  murmur.  Lee 
had  been  Craven  Scholar,  Fellow  of  Trinity,  and  an 
assistant  of  Arnold's  at  Rugby.  He  was  the  son  of  a 
former  Secretary  of  the  Royal  Society.  Besides  being  a 
classical  scholar  he  was  a  widely  read  and  cultivated  man, 
and  not  only  illustrated  his  teaching  with  quotations  from 
Wordsworth  and  Walter  Scott,  but  heaped  scorn  upon  boys 
who  could  not  appreciate  or  identify  an  English  quotation. 

Lee's  teaching  was  of  the  old-fashioned  kind,  and 
consisted  in  very  close  analysis  of  words  and  the  defining  of 
what  are  called  "  shades  of  meaning  "  or  "  nuances!'  With- 
out intentional  irreverence,  it  may  be  said  that  words  in 
Lee's  hands  became  like  the  "  portmanteau  "  words  in  Alice 
in  Wonderland,  stuffed  full  of  divers  senses, — fuller  indeed 

38  LEE'S   TEACHING  aet.  15-19 

than  the  original  author  ever  intended.  That  however 
mattered  little,  as  long  as  the  result  was  intense  intellectual 
enjoyment  and  interest  on  the  part  of  the  pupils.  Such 
teaching  of  course  is  apt  to  lose  sight  of  the  fact  that 
the  best  word-artists  use  words  instinctively  rather  than 
deliberately.  Lee's  teaching  might  have  turned  out  an 
ingenious  stylist  like  Tacitus  or  Thucydides,  a  writer  ob- 
servant and  compressed,  but  would  never  have  produced 
the  simple  lucidity  of  Virgil  or  Homer.  But  the  result 
was  fruitful.  In  the  case  of  Bishop  Westcott  it  left  traces 
in  the  ingenious,  almost  fanciful  pressing  of  words  that 
made  him,  it  is  reported,  say  to  the  evangelist  who  asked 
him  whether  he  was  saved,  "  Do  you  mean  o-cu^et?,  aco^o- 
fxevof  or  creacoafjuevo'i  ? "  On  Bishop  Lightfoot,  a  man  of 
harder  and  more  strictly  logical  mind,  the  results  were 
admirable.  In  my  father,  so  far  as  regarded  written  ex- 
pression, the  results  were  not  altogether  fortunate.  As  a 
young  man  he  wrote  a  most  elaborate  uneasy  English,  and 
in  his  later  years  he  wrote  a  style  which  must  be  called 
crabbed  and  bewildering.  He  tried  to  pack  the  sense 
of  a  sentence  into  an  epithet  and  had  a  curious  love  for 
strained  and  fanciful  words.  He  sacrificed  structure  to 
preciosity  and  lucidity  to  ornament.  The  result  was  that 
my  father's  most  deliberate  style  was  like  that  of  Tacitus 
or  Thucydides,  full  of  points  and  overcharged  with  matter 
— "  sense  "  enough  to  furnish  a  dozen  sermons  out  of  one — 
not  uninteresting  to  read,  though  not  alluring,  and  claiming 
the  reader's  attention  rather  than  enchaining  it ;  his  best 
sermons  and  addresses  are  those  written  under  some 
pressure ;  when  he  preached  or  spoke  extempore,  the 
thought  expanded  naturally  in  simple  and  telling  lan- 
guage, but  when  he  delivered  orally  what  he  had  written 
carefully  the  effect  was  stilted,  because  of  the  compression 
and  excision  he  had  employed. 

1844-1848  LEE'S    METHODS  39 

Lee  had  a  great  personal  fascination ;  everything  about 
him  was  idealised ;  he  suffered  from  ill-health,  and  the 
boys  used  to  gaze  at  him  with  wonder  as  he  taught  with 
pale  brow  and  kindling  eye,  often  knowing  that  he  had  not 
tasted  food  that  day  and  that  he  was  in  constant  pain. 
But  besides  being  most  inspiringly  taught  in  school,  the 
promising  boys  were  often  invited  to  his  house,  and  to  hear 
him  talk  about  books  or  turn  over  portfolios  of  engravings 
was  a  treat  that  they  coveted  and  long  remembered.  His 
system  was  to  stimulate  intellectual  tastes,  and  to  leave 
the  boys  with  a  great  deal  of  leisure  time  to  pursue  any 
subject  that  attracted  them  ;  the  best  boys  were  not 
sacrificed  to  the  mediocre  and  unintellectual.  Lee  was 
exactly  in  his  right  place  as  a  schoolmaster ;  he  had  the 
intense  desire  to  impart  information  at  all  times  and  places; 
but  he  had  the  schoolmaster's  impatience  of  correction,  and 
was  not  fitted  to  deal  with  independent  minds.  Severity, 
not  out  of  place  in  a  schoolmaster,  is  a  bad  outfit  for  a 
leader  of  men.  Lee  was  not,  it  must  be  confessed,  a  suc- 
cessful Bishop,  and  it  is  to  be  regretted  that  he  ever 
accepted  the  Bishopric  of  Manchester — pressed  on  him 
by  the  strong  wish  of  the  Prince  Consort — which  he  held 
until  his  death. 

My  father's  reverence  for  Lee  was  reverence  as  for  a 
character  almost  divine  ;  I  shall  never  forget  how  in  1877, 
in  Cornwall,  when  we  were  being  entertained  by  a  leading 
clergyman  of  the  diocese,  our  host  said  to  my  father 
genially  at  dinner,  "  By  the  way,  Bishop,  you  were  under 
Lee  at  Birmingham,  were  you  not  ?  "  "  Yes,  indeed,"  said 
my  father,  all  in  a  glow.  Then  followed  a  highly  dis- 
paraging criticism.  There  was  a  silence,  and  my  father 
grew  quite  white — then  he  said  to  his  host,  "  You  can 
hardly  expect  me  to  agree  to  that,  when  I  owe  to  him 
all  that   I  was  or  am  or  ever  shall  be."     Our  host  tried 

40  CAATTICEI  aet.  15-19 

to  qualify  the  expression :  but  my  father  was  completely 
upset,  and  hardly  said  a  word  for  the  rest  of  the  evening. 
As  we  went  to  bed  he  said  to  me,  "  Lee  was  the  greatest 
man  I  have  ever  come  within  the  influence  of — the  greatest 
and  the  best^you  see  how  people  are  misunderstood." 

After  Bishop  Lee's  death  a  memorial  sermon  by  my 
father,  entitled  after  its  text  CAAHICEI, — "the  Trumpet 
shall  sound  " — was  printed  with  some  biographical  notes 
by  J.  F.  Wickenden  and  other  former  pupils. 

In  this  sermon,  my  father  thus  speaks  of  Prince  Lee  : — 

"  The  boy,  who,  with  all  a  boy's  faults,  tendencies, 
fancies,  indolent  and  dangerous  inclinations,  came  under  his 
influence,  was  first  spell-bound  by  what  he  heard  and  saw, 
and  then  it  began  to  have  a  strange  efl"ect  on  him.  It 
awoke  first  a  craving  for  the  intellectual  as  against  the 
selfish  ;  then  the  intellectual  itself  began  to  seem  un- 
satisfying for  all  its  beauty  and  for  all  its  wisdom :  he 
began  to  long  for  the  spiritual,  and  to  his  surprise  here, 
too,  he  found  himself  understood,  and  met  and  upraised. 

"Let  me  be  more  definite.  Never  less  and  seldom  more 
than  twenty-five  boys  were  at  one  time  under  his  influence 
as  his  own  proud  scholars  at  the  head  of  his  school.  For 
about  ten  years  at  Birmingham  they  came  to  him  and  left 
him  in  even  flow :  their  intercourse  with  him  was  hourly, 
and  their  loyalty  absolute.  The  love  of  him  was  always  at 
the  height ;  they  were  bound  together  by  it  then  and  ever 
since :  it  was  the  perfectness  of  affection  for  him  which  has 
made  so  many  of  them  seek  his  own  profession.  And 
how  was  it  established  ?  Whatever  gentleness,  whatever 
courtesy,  whatever  strictest  honour  he  showed  to  the 
greatest,  was  paid  to  these  boys  in  fullest  measure,  and  on 
them  he  lavished  all  his  stores;  for  them  he  took  the  poets, 
Latin  and  Greek,  and  read  them  like  no  pedant ;  he 
wrought  out  with  exquisite  taste  and  truth  the  pictures 

1844-1848         LEE'S   RELIGIOUS   TEACHING  41 

that  were  in  words,  and  more,  the  touch  of  feeling,  the 
pathos,  the  moral  greatness,  but  above  all  things,  again 
and  again  let  me  say  it,  the  very  truth, 

"  And  then  for  them  the  life  of  Athens  was  lived  over 
again — for  them  the  very  art  of  Athens  rose  vividly  as  in  a 
vision,  and  linked  itself  with  endless  illustration  to  the  arts 
of  later  date.  And  this  was  a  new  means  of  winning,  and 
purifying,  and  exalting.  To  him  that  art  only  was  precious 
which  was  true  to  nature  and  the  inner  truth :  that  which 
was  merely  imitative  he  scorned  as  he  did  that  which  was 
merely  gorgeous.  Through  all  these  helps  and  stages  the 
language  of  the  princes  of  human  speech,  above  all  the 
difficult  language  and  intricate  thought  of  the  greatest  of 
historians,  grew  absolutely  into  life,  as  he  would  not  only 
first  draw  out  the  very  inmost  sense  of  every  letter,  and 
then  illuminate  it  by  later  lights  of  history  and  experience, 
but  would  many  a  time  break  out  in  his  very  language 
and  make  him  felt  as  familiarly  as  a  contemporary  author. 
And  yet  the  chief  power  lay  in  the  method :  it  was  not  so 
much  the  teaching  he  infused  as  the  ardour  he  aroused,  as 
the  truth-seeking  spirit  he  created,  in  those  who  were 

And  again  : 

"This  one  thing  is  the  first  and  last  they  learned  of 
him,  that  the  personal  friendship  of  Jesus  Christ  our  Lord 
was  that  gift  which  God  was  incarnate  to  bestow  on  every 
man  who  sought  it. 

"  And  the  second  thing  to  which  he  turned  ever  more 
and  more  with  a  trust  more  full  of  awe,  and  yet  ever  more 
full  of  resolute  confidence,  was  the  thought  that  that 
Personal  Friend  would  come  again  to  judge  the  world. 

"It  is  a  boyish  recollection,  dear  to  many,  how — reading 
with  them  the  Greek  Testament,  and  expounding  with  his 
own  most  lucid  and  yet  thrilling  forms  of  expression,  in 

42  LEE    BISHOP   OF   MANCHESTER  aet.  i8 

terms  that  never  missed  one  touch  of  accurate  scholarship, 
yet  never  withdrew  the  thought  an  instant  from  the  sanctity 
and  divine  truth  which  it  enfolded — he  one  day  broke  off 
in  an  uncontrollable  throb  of  emotion  at  the  words,  '  To 
them  that  look  for  Him  shall  He  appear  the  second  time 
without  sin  unto  salvation.' 

"  It  was  but  half  understood  that  day :  it  was  wonderingly 
spoken  of  many  a  time  afterwards  ;  but  later  it  was  felt  to 
be  the  very  keynote  of  his  life  by  one  or  two  to  whom  full 
twenty  years  after  he  said — '  There  is  but  one  word  I  would 
wish  to  have  upon  my  gravestone,  and  it  is  a  Greek  word 
of  course,'  he  added  with  a  smile,  '  it  is  the  word  CAATTICEI 
— "  The  trumpet  shall  sound,"  ' — '  Yes,'  he  said  again,  '  The 
trumpet  shall  sound.' " 

Lee  was  appointed  Bishop  of  Manchester  in  1847. 
The  boys  subscribed  for  and  presented  him  with  a  testi- 
monial, my  father  acting  as  secretary  and  being  the  moving 
spirit.  Lee  was  very  unpopular  at  the  time  among  a 
certain  section  of  the  Birmingham  people,  and  the  most 
cruel  and  baseless  slanders  were  insinuated  about  his 
private  life ;  the  boys  espoused  his  cause  with  the  utmost 
warmth  and  manifested  the  most  violent  indignation 
against  the  offenders.  Lee  was  represented  as  an  unfit 
person  both  on  theological  and  private  grounds  to  be 
made  a  Bishop,  and  after  enduring  for  some  time,  with 
Christian  fortitude,  statements  which  worked  like  poison  in 
his  sensitive  nature,  actually  brought  a  lawsuit  in  which 
his  character  was  triumphantly  vindicated. 

Lee  had  the  power  of  self-control  to  a  remarkable 
degree,  but  as  a  matter  of  fact  his  sensitiveness  both 
mental  and  physical  was  abnormal.  My  father  has  told 
me  that  on  the  occasion  of  his  first  large  Confirmation  at 
Manchester,  he  was  so  much  upset  by  the  incessant  motion 
of  figures  in  front  of  him  that  he  was  obliged  to  retire  in 

i847  LETTER   TO    LIGHTFOOT  43 

utter  prostration  several  times  in  the  course  of  the  service. 
His  continuing  the  service  under  such  conditions  is  a 
sufficient  proof  of  the  constraint  he  could  put  upon  himself 

To  J.  B.  LigJitfoot,  a  description  of  Dr  Prince  Lees 
appointment  to  the  Bishopric  of  Manchester. 

Birmingham  Heath. 

October  22nd,  1847. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

Here  then  beginneth 


Thursday  the  14M  of  October  1847. 

Mr  Lee  and  Mr  Abbott  together  gave  us  a  Lecture  on  the 
Pendulum  from  eleven  o'clock  to  half-past  twelve  in  the  Lecture 
Room.  A  few  minutes  before  the  half-hour  Mr  Lee  said,  "while 
you  are  here  I  may  as  well  give  you  the  subject  for  your  copy — 
Latin  verse,  isn't  it — take  for  your  motto  '  Inventas  aut  qui  vitam 
excoluere  per  artes,'  and  you  may  treat  it  in  any  way  you  like — 
and  as  I  shall  not  be  able  to  be  with  you  to-morrow — (I  am  called 
away  unexpectedly)  I  will  set  you  some  work  to  do  on  paper. 
That  will  do  for  the  present " — and  so  upstairs  we  went,  and 
Mr  Lee  followed  us  and  gave  us  the  fifth  Book  of  Tacitus' 
Histories.  "  Only  26  Chapters,  you  see,  you'll  finish  it  easily." 
After  that  he  staid  in  Birmingham  till  half  past  six.  He  was 
at  the  School  of  Design  till  ten  minutes  to  six,  and  then  hurried 
off.  Next  day  (Friday)  all  that  was  known  about  him  was  that 
he  was  in  London — not  a  soul,  either  boy  or  master,  knew  what 
he  was  gone  for.  Many  were  the  odd  surmises  as  to  what  could 
have  taken  him  away  so  suddenly.  Saturday — when  we  came 
into  school  Mr  Lee  was  sitting  back  in  his  seat ;  he  looked  very 
pale — and  certainly  I  thought  looked  at  me  in  a  very  peculiar 
manner  as  I  passed  beside  him — indeed  all  thought  that  there 
was  something  unusual  in  his  manner.  When  he  began  to  read 
prayers  he  read  with  difficulty,  and  was  evidently  much  affected  by 
something  or  other,  for  the  corners  of  his  mouth  were  working 
strangely.  However,  his  voice  soon  grew  stronger,  and  he  read  on 
to  the  end.  Still  nothing  was  known  at  all,  but  we  soon  after  went 
up  with  Davison's  Chapter  on  the  union  of  free-will  in  man  with 

44  LEE'S   APPOINTMENT  aet.  i8 

Divine  fore-knowledge.  Mr  Lee  gave  us  one  of  the  fairest  pieces 
of  his  own  eloquence  that  I  ever  heard — he  spoke  of  those  who 
believed  in  fixed  fate,  so  that  man  had  no  will  of  his  own — and 
he  alluded  by  way  of  illustration  to  the  wretched  criminal  whose 
case  had  been  just  made  known — and  then  said  that  if  all  the 
influences  of  the  Holy  Spirit  upon  him  had  been  exercised  only 
that  he  might  incur  the  guilt  of  scorning  them,  and  that  because 
he  could  not  do  otherwise — and  that  if  all  the  longings  and 
prayers  of  the  good  men,  aided  by  Christ's  Spirit,  and  accepted 
for  Christ's  merits,  had  been  a  mere  mechanical  thing,  then  God 
was  transformed— he  was  not  our  God — the  God  of  Scripture,  but 
a  demon.  And  here  Mr  Lee's  eyes  filled  with  tears,  he  seemed 
almost  choked,  and  he  leant  on  his  desk — and  after  repeated 
attempts,  and  with  great  difficulty,  he  said,  "This  is  an  awful 
subject,  and  one  which  is  peculiarly  interesting  to  me  at  this 
time."  After  a  short  time  he  went  on — you  know  we  have  all 
seen  him  several  times  moved  to  tears,  but  I  never  saw  him  so 
much  moved  as  then.  All  this  of  course  increased  the  mystery, 
and  his  last  sentence  completely  rooted  out  all  idea  of  the 

Shortly  before  half-past  twelve  he  came  to  our  desk  and  said, 
"  as  the  services  in  the  Church  are  peculiar  to-morrow,  I  will 
excuse  your  attendance  in  the  afternoon,"  so  there  was  no  hope 
of  hearing  anything  more  till  Monday.  On  Sunday  evening  I 
went  to  my  uncle's  to  meet  Mama  who  had  been  nursing  him ; 
and  to  take  her  to  Church.  Mr  Hodgson  (the  surgeon)  had  seen 
her  and  told  her  that  Mr  Lee  was  appointed  Bishop  of  Manchester. 
When  I  knew  it  so  for  certain  I  was  thunder-struck.  I  could  have 
done  anything — I  could  have  laughed  or  cried  or  danced  or  sung 
or  anything  in  the  world  but  stand  still  and  think — it  was  positively 
dreadful.  Here  was  all  cleared  up  and  in  such  a  manner.  I  really 
was  so  selfish  that  I  did  not  feel  glad  a  bit  till  I  had  walked  two 
or  three  hundred  yards — and  then  I  thought  how  very  wrongly  I 
was  doing — yet  I  could  not  help  it,  and  my  eyes  filled  with  tears 
once  or  twice  during  the  evening  service. 

Next  day  (Monday)  when  I  got  to  the  school,  there  were 
various  rumours  afloat — one  of  the  reports  in  the  lower  part  of 
the  school  was  that  Mr  Lee  had  got  ^20,000  and  was  going  to 
leave — but  it  was  no  laughing  matter.  Ellis  had  seen  it  in  the 
paper,  and  Mr  Lee  had  told  the  boarders  himself  on  Sunday 
evening — he  spoke  to  them  of  the  familiar  and  happy  intercourse 


From  a  drawing  by  L.  Beatrice   Thompson. 

To  face  page  44,  vol.  i 

i847  LEE   TESTIMONIAL  45 

which  he  had  had  with  them — that  it  must  soon  end — that  it  had 
pleased  Her  Majesty  to  appoint  him  first  Bishop  of  Manchester, 
and   all    the   wretched    tale — and   yet    so   joyful   a   one — again. 

On  Tuesday  N was  brought  before  Mr  Lee  for  having  told 

and  persisted  in  a  falsehood  to  Mr  Yates ' — and  at  half-past  twelve 
Mr  Lee  made  Oh!  such  a  speech  to  him  and  to  the  school.  Truth 
was  what  he  dwelt  on  as  the  foundation  of  all  good — the  contem- 
plation of  Truth — his  own  beloved  Truth,  and  he  spoke  of  how 
he  had  ever  redeemed  and  would  redeem  to  the  last  his  pledge 
to  extirpate  falsehood,  by  God's  help,  from  the  school.  If  that 
fellow  had  not  a  heart  of  iron,  he  will  be  a  changed  being  all 

his  days.     And   then    Mr    Lee   said   that   as   N had   been 

so  severely  dealt  with  in  words,  his  corporal  punishment  should 
be  but  light — and  so  he  made  it.     Was  it  not  nobly  done  ? 

Wednesday.  The  first  two  classes  had  a  meeting  about  a 
testimonial  for  Mr  Lee. 

The  Committee  chose  for  its  Treasurers,  Pearse  and  Thompson, 
and  for  its  Secretary — yours  obediently  E.  W.  B.  I  was  therefore 
requested  to  prepare  a  notice  to  be  placed  in  all  the  desks. 

Nothing  more  happened  on  Wednesday  afternoon ;  we  were  of 
course  all  in  a  state  of  high  excitement  and  no  work  was  done. 

On  Wednesday  evening  I  was  alone  to  write  the  circular. 
You  can  have  little  idea  how  I  felt  in  setting  about  it.  It  seemed 
such  a  privilege  and  honour  to  be  actually  setting  down  on  paper 
what  one  thought  of  Mr  Lee,  and  something  that  should  be  read 
by  500  boys  about  him,  and  how  all  would  hate  me  if  I  did  not 
praise  him  enough — and  then  the  fear  of  overdoing  it — and  then 
the  feeling  that  I  could  not  possibly  write  down  why  I  loved  him, 
and  why  we  ought  all  to  love  him — it  was  the  strangest  mixture  of 
feelings  I  ever  felt. 

However  by  the  end  of  the  evening  it  was  written  and  copied 
out — for  it  took  me  from  tea-time  till  bed-time.  I  don't  want  you 
to  think  it  was  done  in  an  off-hand  way — a  dashed-off  thing,  you 
know ;  but  I  really  tried  to  make  it  as  good  as  I  could. 

You  must  know  that  that  malicious  fool  X "  has  ventured 

1  loth  Wrangler  1844;  Fellow  of  Sidney  Sussex  College,  Cambridge,  and 
Mathematical  Master  at  Birmingham. 

^  A  Birmingham  medical  man,  who  had  a  long  quarrel  with  Dr  Prince  Lee 
about  the  Birmingham  Hospital.  He  published  libels  on  the  character  of 
Dr  P.  Lee,  who  eventually  brought  the  action  already  alluded  to  against 

46  DR   GIFFORD  aet.  i8 

to  publish  a  protest  to  Lord  John  Russell  and  the  Bishops,  setting 
forth  etc.  etc. — I  can't  write  it — and  had  the  audacity  to  fix  up  a 
copy  in  the  news  room.  I  went  full  tear  to  the  Library  to  pull  it 
down,  but  found  it  was  gone. 

To-day  the  circulars  came  printed.  We  folded  them  up  in 
school  and  distributed  them  in  the  desks  afterwards — the  fellows 
are,  I  believe,  quite  enthusiastic^as  they  ought  to  be.  I  send 
you  a  copy  of  the  circular.  I  should  like  to  know  what  the 
fellows  think  of  it — for  I  shan't  pretend  that  I  don't  care,  or  that 
I  don't  think  about  it ;  here,  I  believe,  it  is  pretty  well  liked. 
This  afternoon  Mr  Lee  has  had  a  letter  sealed  with  the  Royal 
Arms.  The  two  Schools  were  assembled  at  half-past  three  p.m. 
to-day,  and  the  Governors  came  in.  Mr  James  Chance^  spoke — 
what  a  gentlemanly  man  he  is  ! — and  told  us  the  Governors  gave 
us  a  week's  holiday — till  ist  Nov.  Of  course  the  fellows  felt 
bound  to  cheer  tremendously,  and  so  they  did — but  the  general 
expression  as  they  sat  down  again  was — "  I'm  not  glad  a  bit  if 
Mr  Lee's  to  go." 

O  happy  Lightfoot,  happy  all  that  enjoyed  his  latest  teaching, 
and  miserable  me,  that  shall  come  back  next  half-year  and  see 
another  in  his  place. 

Lee  was  succeeded  in  the  Headmastership  by  the 
Rev.  E.  H.  Gififord,  afterwards  Archdeacon  of  London, 
for  whose  accurate  and  careful  scholarship  my  father  and 
his  contemporaries  had  a  great  respect.  But  such  devotion 
as  Lee  inspired  is  hardly  transferable,  and  it  is  highly 
creditable  to  Dr  Gififord  that  he  was  so  successful  as  he 
was  in  succeeding  a  teacher  of  so  enthusiastic  a  genius. 

There  are  but  few  letters  before  this  date,  but  as  soon 
as  his  school-friend  J.  B.  Lightfoot,  who  was  one  year 
his  senior,  went  up  to  Cambridge  in  1847  they  began  to 
correspond  voluminously. 

^  A  Governor  of  the  school,  of  Trin.  Coll.,  Camb.  and  7th  Wrangler  :  head 
of  a  firm  of  c;]as.sworkers  in  Birmingham. 


To  J.  B.  Lightfoot. 

Embsay  Kirk*. 

July  23,  1847. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

All  my  old  friends  in  ideas  etc.  are  coming  over  again 
and  puzzling  me  sadly.  You  may  imagine  the  difficulties  I  feel 
when  it  is  assumed  as  a  matter  of  course,  and  a  ground  to  argue 
upon,  that  Dr  Arnold  was  a  good  man  indeed  but  holding  very 
mistaken  and  dangerous  opinions.  '•'■  Nulla  salus  extra  ecclesiajn" 
is  the  prime  feeling;  and  love  for  the  Church  (i.e.  of  England)  is 
what  children  are  to  be  specially  and  above  all  things  taught. 
But  they  now  go  a  step  further  than  I  ever  heard  before.  You 
must  know  that  the  Roman  Church  may  be  a  true  Church  in 
Italy,  but  in  England  it  is  not  only  in  error,  but  in  heresy,  and 
schismatical.  All  the  love  they  have  for  the  Sacraments,  and  love 
for  Churches  and  Chancels  as  places  especially  holy  in  themselves, 
and  all  the  veneration  of  the  priestly  character,  seems  inclined  to 
furnish  them  with  a  high  principle  of  action,  but  not,  as  I  firmly 
believe,  the  highest.  I  hear  much  of  the  Church,  Baptism,  the 
Eucharist,  and  so  on,  but  very  little  of  Chrisfs  Church,  Chrisfs 
Baptism,  the  Lord's  Supper.  It  is  as  if  Christ  had  come  down 
from  Heaven  as  some  great  teacher  to  found  a  Society  which 
should  have  power  to  save  of  itself  all  who  belonged  to  it,  and 
as  if  He  had  then  gone  away  again;  the  Atonement  and  Mediation 
of  Christ  seem  to  be  very  little  thought  of  in  reality  of  feeling, 
however  much  they  may  be  acknowledged  in  doctrine. 

By  the  way  I  have  met  with  something  that  rather  startled  me 
with  regard  to  the  Athanasian  Creed.  I  saw  the  Latin  Version 
of  it  the  other  day,  and  it  begins  with  "Quicunque  vult  salvus 
esse" — now  mind  you,  it  is  a  very  different  thing  to  say  "Whoever 
will  be  saved" — I  could  say  the  former  myself  without  any 
shrinking;  the  Greek  word  indeed  is  aiaOrjvai  but  I  have  an 
indistinct  idea  of  having  seen  somewhere  that  the  Latin  was  the 

But  I  must  conclude  at  once. — God  bless  you  in  Christ; 

My  dear  fellow, 

E.  W.  B. 

^  A    house    near    Skipton    to   which    Mr  John    Sidgwick    moved    from 


To  J.  B.  Lightfoot,  at  Trinity  College,  Cambridge. 

S^inday  Evening, 

Oct.  yd,  1847. 

My  dear  Lightfoot, 

You  really  quite  alarmed  me  by  your  paragraph  on 
the  14th  century.  Dear  me,  do  you  take  me  for  a  Papist?  But  if 
you  will  read  the  last  few  pages  of  Waddington's  first  volume,  and 
Guizot  as  he  is  there  quoted,  you  will  see  that  there  was  some- 
thing else  than  Church  Music  and  Gothic  Architecture  which  the 
Church  of  the  Middle  Ages  did  for  mankind. 

Don't  you  think  a  very  noble  essay  might  be  written  comparing 
Heathen  and  Christian  Philosophy!  I  do  not  think  it  could  be 
dangerous  to  look  at  our  faith  in  that  light — and  it  would  show 
how  mean  a  thing  is  humanity  raising  itself  to  its  greatest  height, 
as  compared  with  humanity  raised  by  God  above  itself.  Compare 
the  doctrities  of  Socrates,  that  man  cannot  teach  virtue,  that  it 
comes  by  divine  grace ;  and  that  the  best  prayer  man  can  offer  is 
to  commend  himself  to  God  because  he  knows  nothing,  with  the 
doctrines  taught  by  St  Paul, — and  the  practice  which  Socrates' 
doctrines  produced  with  the  practice  of  the  meanest  Christian. 
How  poor  are  such  motives  as  that  a  son  should  honour  his 
mother  because  she  nursed  him,  and  bore  with  his  passionate 
humours,  and  that  brothers  are  to  be  kind,  and  kyKparuo}  ought  to 
be  practised  because  it  fits  a  man  for  the  duties  of  a  soldier  or  a 
statesman,  if  we  compare  with  this,  those  gentle,  simple  words 
that  4000  years  of  human  wisdom  could  not  find,  and  that 
10,000  more  would  not  have  found,  "Beloved,  if  God  so  loved 
us,  we  ought  also  to  love  one  another." 

In  what  a  fearful  and  mysterious  state  that  mind  must  have 
been  which,  knowing  the  existence  of  a  God,  and  believing  that 
he  must  be  just,  knew  nothing  of  a  life  to  come ;  do  but  think 
well  of  those  mighty  words  a-rra^  ^avoVros  ovns  eo-T  avacrTaons^ 
(which  we  have  heard  quoted  till  they  ring  in  our  ears  almost 
meaningless)  and  try  to  realise  the  state  of  mind  which  he  must 
have  had  who  wrote  them.     How  dark  and  anarchical  must  all 

^  Self-control. 

^  "Once  dead,  there  is  no  resurrection."     Aesch.  Eum.  648. 


things  have  seemed,  what  a  hopeless  hfe  was  it  for  all  but  the 
pleasure-seeker,  and  what  a  changed  prospect  that  must  have 
been,  what  a  day-star  indeed  upon  the  valley  of  the  shadow  of 
death,  if  any  such  philosopher  could  have  caught  the  words  "  To 
them  who  by  patient  continuance  in  well-doing  seek  for  glory  and 
honour  and  immortahty,  eternal  life."  I  hope  you  will  not  think 
me  troublesome,  for  you  may  laugh  at  me  for  laying  so  great  a 
stress  on  so  obvious  a  thing,  but  the  words  seem  to  me  to  carry 
a  deeper  meaning  than  meets  the  ear,  and  to  be  fully  appreciated 
only  if  one  places  oneself  as  a  heathen  to  whom  the  "  good  spell " 
came  for  the  first  time.  I  have  been  much  struck  by  it  lately 
myself,  again  and  again. 

(Thursday  evening.)  One  word  more  and  I  have  done,  for  I 
think  this  is  really  a  very  curious  incidental  proof  of  the  different 
genius  of  humanity  with  and  without  revelation.  Consider  in 
those  two  passages  what  is  the  Self  which  is  assumed  in  each, 

TToAAas   8     l(ji0ifxov<;   ij/v^a.<;  "A'lSl  Trpotail/ev . . . 
...avrovs  8e  eXojpta  xeD^e  KuVeo'atv ', 

and  7rapao-n;craTe  iavTovs  tw  ©ew  cos  €k  veKptZv  ^covras,  koI  to,  /xeXt] 
v/xoiv  ^. 

Mr  Lee's  portrait  is  painted,  I  believe ;  he  is  in  his  College 
dress,  with  a  Testament  in  one  hand  and  his  gold  pencil-case  in 
the  other !     It's  quite  true. 

I  have  had  such  a  nice  talk  with  Louis  this  afternoon,  I  have 
been  building  "churches  in  the  air"  gloriously,  I  daresay  you  will 
hear  something  about  it  from  him.  Do  not  reject  the  idea  at  once 
as  visionary,  for  it  is  nof  impracticable — and  many  a  large  tree  has 
grown  from  a  smaller  seed  than  six  educated,  thinking,  energetic 
men  might  sow. 

BeUeve  me,  my  dear  fellow.  Yours  most  truly, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

They  are  all  gone— Corrie  left  yesterday,  the  ultimus 

1  "And  many  valiant  souls  he  sent  to  Hades... and  made  them  a  prey 
to  dogs."     //.  i.  4. 

■^  "Yield  yourselves  unto  God,  as  those  that  are  alive  from  the  dead,  and 
your  members...."     Rom.  vi.  13. 

B.  I.  A 

50  LIGHTFOOT   LETTERS  aet.  i8 

To  J,  B.  Lightfoot. 

Oct.  29,  1847. 

Can  you  send  me  the  Prayers  for  None,  after  the  last  Re- 
sponse ?  Do  you  keep  Canonical  Hours  at  all  ?  By  the  way — I 
wanted  to  mention  to  you  that  we  should  not  destroy  each  other's 
letters — let  them  be  kept  as  a  memorial  of  school  days.  Even 
when  we  are  grown  wiser  and  better,  it  will  do  us  good  to  go  over 
old  times  again  with  the  very  papers  and  ink  that  contained  what 
were  once  our  thoughts. 

To  J.  B.  LigJitfoot,  on  the  formation  of  a  small 
Society  for  holy  living. 

"  Non  nobis,  Dominer 

Sunday  Evening, 

Oct.  31,  1847. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

This  is  a  singularly  auspicious  day  for  commencing 
the  first  practical  consideration  of  such  a  project  as  ours.  On  the 
31st  of  October  15 17,  as  I  was  told  to-night,  Luther  affixed 
his  theses  to  the  gate  of  Wittenberg — and  evermore  is  this 
day  kept  as  the  Birthday  of  the  German  Reformation.  May  we 
receive  a  small  measure  of  the  lion-like  boldness  of  that  noble  and 
true-hearted  monk,  and  if  the  Battle  be  not  so  great,  yet  is  it 
to  be  fought  with  spiritual  wickedness,  and  that  too  in  high 
places ;  and  we  may  trust  that  if  hands  and  hearts  be  feeble,  God 
hath  ere  now  vouchsafed  to  give  the  victory  to  others  than  the 

How  far  Louis  has  told  you  of  our  conversation,  or  what 
project  he  has  definitely  mentioned,  you  do  not  inform  me.  Yet 
I  think  there  cannot  be  any  mistaking,  in  your  words  "  the  sooner 
something  is  done  the  better,"  which  I  think  good  and  true.  But 
we  must  remember  how  very  young  we  are,  and  how  very  much 
unformed  our  minds  are,  in  comparison  with  what  they  will  be  in 
the  course  of  a  few  years.  And  therefore,  (although  I  think  that 
without  some  definite  outward  bonds  of  union  we  cannot  hold 
together,  and  that  it  is  very  advisable  that  we  should  meet  and 
have  together  a  peculiar  Service,  and  declare  solemnly  to  each 
other,  before  God  Almighty,  what  our  intentions  and  resolutions 
are,)  still  these  vows  must  not  be  perpetual — and  a  certain  form 


must  be  agreed  upon  by  which  they  may  be  renounced — and  all 
must  be  secret,  we  must  observe  strict  silence,  except  to  one 
another — at  present  I  include  only  yourself,  and  Louis  and  myself 
— we  must  agree  what  ive  will  do,  and  then  we  may  consider 
about  admitting  others. 

To  consider,  then,  what  we  are  to  do.  It  must  be  nothing 
new.  We  must  not  seek  for  new  truths ;  if  we  do  so,  if  we  seek 
any  new  Angels  beside  those  who  have  been  declared  to  us  to  be 
such,  we  are  more  likely  than  not  to  find  that  appearance  of  an 
Angel  of  Light,  into  which  Satan  transforms  himself.  We  are 
then  to  seek  to  do  nothing  which  we  are  not  as  Christians  already 
concerned  to  do.  At  Baptism,  you  and  I,  before  the  Blessed 
Trinity,  before  all  Angels,  and  the  whole  Church  in  heaven  and 
earth,  made  three  solemn  vows.  These  vows  have  not  yet  been 
uttered  by  lip,  by  the  other  of  us  three,  but  he  knows  in  his  heart 
that  they  are  binding  upon  him  no  less,  and  his  solemn  de- 
claration we  shall  one  day  hear,  I  hope  and  trust.  But  now,  we 
have  not  kept  these  vows.  You  have  not  kept  yours,  you  know — 
and  how  often  I  have  broken  mine,  God  only  knows,  for  it  is 
beyond  my  power  to  reckon.  Now  I  think  that  by  such  fellow- 
ship as  this,  rooted  in  love,  between  three  only  who  are  not 
ashamed  to  speak  to  each  other  of  God  and  Christ  and  spiritual 
things,  we  may  each  under  God's  blessing  mutually  aid  and 
forward  one  another,  and  then  as  we  grow  older,  when  increased 
knowledge  and  experience  shall  have  given  us  power,  we  may 
better  teach  others  in  the  way.  One  point  particularly  has  struck 
me — we  promised  to  renounce  that  which  doubtless  exists  for  us, 
the  vain  pomp  and  glory  of  the  world.  Have  we  even  attempted 

Again,  the  noblest  object  of  all  is  one  which  few  have  as  yet 
aimed  at.  The  Kingdom  of  God  was  for  the  Poor.  Oh  !  let  the 
Poor  have  the  Gospel  preached  unto  them.  Let  us  league  with 
all  our  souls  and  hearts,  and  powers  of  mind  and  body,  that  it 
may  be  no  more  God's  witness  against  us,  "  My  people  perish  for 
lack  of  knowledge." 

Let  us  determine  while  our  hearts  are  still  warm,  and  unchilled 
by  the  lessons  of  the  world,  to  teach  the  Poor — and  to  alleviate 
the  condition  of  those,  with  respect  to  whom  disclosures  oc- 
casionally reach  our  ears,  that  tell  us  how  darkly  and  coldly  the 
shadow  of  death  yet  rests  upon  thousands  and  tens  of  thousands 
in  Christian  England,  the  pride  of  the  nations. 

52  LIGHTFOOT   LETTERS  aet.  i8 

And  again  to  promote  the  Spiritual  Unity  of  the  Church,  even 
if  the  outward  union  may  be  difificult  or  even  impossible  to  effect, 
should  be  our  earnest  endeavour. 

All  these  things  are  noble  objects  to  live  for,  to  study  for,  to 
write  for,  to  pray  for,  to  die  for.  Yet  we  must  ever  bear  in  mind 
the  immense  danger  of  exalting  any  one  doctrine  too  high.  And 
again,  that  these  are  secondary  objects ;  that  we  are  neither  to 
seek  to  perform  our  vows  for  the  vow's  sake,  nor  to  fulfil  Christ's 
words  for  Christianity's  sake,  nor  to  teach  and  raise  the  poor  for 
the  poor's  sake,  nor  to  unite  the  Church  for  the  Church's  sake, 
nor  to  learn  and  teach  the  Bible  for  the  Bible's  sake.  But  all 
is  to  be  done  for  Christ's  sake,  to  the  Glory  of  God.  According 
as  we  have  this  aim  before  us,  or  not,  we  shall  certainly  stand 
or  fall.  This  is  the  difference  between  morality  and  religion ;  if 
we  do  any  one  work  for  its  own  sake,  instead  of  God's,  that  work 
is  none  of  His,  and  He  will  not  prosper  it,  for  He  will  not  have 
man  presume  to  do  His  work  by  other  than  His  means. 

For  the  means  whereby  we  are  to  effect  this,  the  weapons 
of  our  warfare  are  not  carnal.  Prayer,  unceasing,  fervent,  is  the 
surest  means  of  attaining  any  end- — this  is  a  thing  which  requires 
great  pains  to  realise,  but  Christ  has  given  us  the  most  practical 
assurances  that  it  is  so,  and  we  dare  not,  will  not,  doubt  it.  God 
has  saved  cities  for  the  prayer  of  righteous  men  that  dwelt  in 
them — and  surely  He  who  has  wrought  temporal  deliverances 
will  work  spiritual  ones. 

We  may  begin  this  work  now.  Let  our  prayers  rise  up  a 
continual  incense  before  God,  for  the  extension  of  His  Kingdom, 
and  the  revival  of  the  Church  in  our  day ;  many  outward  or- 
dinances want  amending,  a  whole  order  of  ministers  in  the 
Church  has  become  extinct.  Fasting  and  other  spiritual  helps 
are  cast  aside.  It  is  all  very  well  to  talk  of  these  things  being 
only  scaffolding  and  therefore  not  essential  or  important ;  but  the 
building  is  not  yet  complete,  and  a  strange  architect  is  he  who 
would  throw  away  the  scaffolding  before  it  is.  This,  then,  and 
others  which  will  occur  to  each  are  things  which  we  may  now 
practise.  Let  us  deny  ourselves  much,  that  we  may  have  to  give, 
and  so  help  the  poor  outwardly ;  let  us  lose  no  opportunity  that 
may  occur  of  helping  them  spiritually.  I  do  not  believe  that  they 
are  generally  thankless,  and  even  at  the  worst,  we  have  only  cast 
our  bread  upon  the  waters,  as  He  commanded.  ^Ve  may  have 
much  influence  on  those  about  us  for  good,  if  we  will  only  be  bold. 

i847  ON   LEE'S   DEPARTURE  53 

Because  we  have  not  yet  seen  our  Master,  but  only  heard  His  voice, 
we  are  as  slack  in  His  service  as  if  we  had  doubts  of  His  exist- 
ence. When  we  do  see  His  face,  then  we  shall  no  more  be  able 
to  do  as  we  now  can  do.  Let  me  hear  from  you  soon  as  to  this 
— and  perhaps  Louis  will  write  also.  Should  we,  as  I  suggested 
to  him,  be  ever  able  to  co-operate  as  Clergymen  in  the  same 
Parish  Church,  our  united  efforts  might  be  productive  of  good  by 
writing,  if  God  will  bless  us,  and  our  labours  among  the  people 
would  prevent  our  Christianity  from  becoming  solely  theoretic  ; 
and  all  pleasant  and  lovely  things  might  be  done  in  the  Service  of 
His  House. 

E.  W.  B. 

To  J.  B.  Lightfoot. 

Birmingham  Heath. 

Feb.  17,  1848. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

^^Self'^ — I  have  been  in  Birmingham  all  the  time 
and  precious  seedy  have  I  become.  So  much  so  that  for  the  last 
fortnight  and  hard  upon  a  week  before  that,  I  have  done  nothing 
at  all  in  the  reading  line.  Indeed  I  am  horrified  in  looking  back 
upon  the  last  eight  weeks.  And  yet  so  delighted  at  having  seen 
so  much  of  the  beloved  Bishop  and  Bishopess.  Wickenden  has 
of  course  told  you  about  the  book-packing.  Since  then  I  have 
been  there  several  times,  and  particularly  on  the  Monday  after  his 
Enthronisation,  which  he  spent  at  Birmingham.  I  lunched  with 
them  and  he  introduced  me  very  kindly  to  Mr  Gifford.  I  am  the 
only  fellow  so  far  as  I  can  find  out  that  has  seen  him,  and  we  go 
to  school  on  Tuesday.  He  is  certainly  a  very  young  man  indeed, 
and  rather  bashful  in  his  manner,  but  I  hear  that  he  was  exceed- 
ingly liked  at  Shrewsbury  and  particularly  for  his  justice.  This 
is  very  promising  for  us  who  require  so  firm  a  hand.  The  Bishop 
said  of  him  before  his  election  that  he  would,  if  he  came,  raise 
the  character  of  the  School  higher  than  it  has  ever  been.  But  at 
lunch  while  discussing  with  Garbett  and  the  Bishop  the  text  of 
the  Consecration  Sermon  which  has  caused  such  a  disturbance 
here,  he  unluckily  said  that  he  believed  instances  might  be  found 
in  the  Greek  Testament  of  the  present  passive  used  for  the  perfect, 
so  that  we  must  not  take  all  for  Gospel  clearly.  The  Bishop's 
countenance  of  course  fell  directly,  but  as  soon  as  possible  he 

54  LIGHTFOOT   LETTERS  aet.  i8 

referred  the  a-ca^oixivov;  to  his  favourite  imperfect  tense,  that 
answers  so  many  difficulties.  How  he  shone  in  comparison  with 
all  others  !  Greek  quotations  streamed  from  him  like  light  from 
the  sun. 

The  other  evening  when  I  was  telling  Ellis  about  the  delight 
which  Hare's  letters  gave  me,  as  settling  Hampden's'  orthodoxy, 
he  told  me  that  he  had  been  giving  up  all  his  time  to  the  study 
of  the  trial  and  had  not  touched  any  classics  for  a  week.  "  Oh," 
said  I,  "I  don't  care  a  rap  about  that.  I  am  only  rejoicing  to 
be  able  to  sympathise  fully  with  Arnold's  indignation  at  the 
condemnation  of  Hampden."  The  poor  chap  was  quite  upset 
for  a  moment,  and  then  proceeded  gravely  to  lay  before  me  the 
awful  earthquake  that  had  been  going  on  while  I  was  snoozing 
quietly  in  the  Lycian  Sepulchres.  For  you  must  know  that  I 
have  been  head  and  ears  in  Fellowes's  Lycia^. 

I  was  truly  glad  to  hear  of  your  brother's  rising  reputation. 
I  should  think  he  would  be  a  very  good  preacher.  What  you 
say  of  those  London  parishes  is  truly  terrible.  Is  not  labour 
among  those  masses  in  reality  a  nobler  life  than  such  as  I  am 
proposing  to  myself?  I  am  in  great  doubt  now  as  to  applying 
for  the  assistance  of  some  Bristol  folks  with  whom  my  Uncle  has 
interest,  who  wish  to  help  young  men  in  my  position  and  similar 
ones,  to  obtain  University  Education,  in  order  to  entering  the 
Ministry.  Now  I  cannot  say  that  that  is  my  fixed  purpose,  but 
rather  school-teaching.  My  Uncle  has  set  before  me  all  the 
difficulties  likely  to  beset  me  in  that  course,  and  would  exert 
his  influence  for  me  if  I  would  even  say  that  I  wished  to  be  a 
Minister,  though  circumstances  might  incline  me  to  be  a  school- 
master. Now  while  on  the  one  hand  it  seems  like  a  flinging  away 
of  the  help  which  God  seems  to  have  given  me  in  these  people, 
to  relieve  me  from  the  difficulties  into  which  I  have  been  led  by 
my  original  wilfulness  in  refusing  to  leave  school  contrary  to  the 

^  The  Confirmation  of  Dr  Hampden  as  Bishop  of  Hereford  took  place  in 
Bow  Church  on  Jan.  i6,  1848.  Three  clergymen  of  the  Diocese  objected  to 
the  Confirmation  on  the  ground  that  the  Bishop  had  published  works  repugnant 
to  the  doctrines  of  the  Established  Church,  and  had  been  censured  by  the 
University  of  Oxford.  The  Commissioners  refused  to  hear  the  objections,  and 
confirmed  the  election  in  the  usual  form,  and,  on  appeal,  the  Court  of  Queen's 
Bench  being  equally  divided  in  opinion,  the  election  stood. 

^  An  account  of  discoveries  in  Lycia,  a  Jourtial,  Lond.  1841,  and  The 
Xanthian  Marbles  6^t-.,  Lond.  1843,  1^7  Sir  Charles  Fellowes. 

1848  ON   ASPIRATIONS  55 

wishes  of  all  my  friends,  and  while  one  might  even  consider  this 
as  a  circumstance  to  determine  one  to  be  a  Minister  of  God's 
Church,  on  the  other  hand  I  do  not  consider  myself  justified  in 
turning  away  from  a  course  which,  to  my  view,  presents  equal 
hopes  of  usefulness ;  and  well  I  know  that  if  I  were  to  say  now 
merely  that  my  wish  was  to  be  a  Minister,  I  could  not  but  think 
hereafter,  in  case  I  should  be  a  schoolmaster,  that  I  had  deserted 
that,  on  the  faith  of  which  alone  their  help  had  been  given  me. 
And  again,  if  I  were  to  nail  the  weathercock  to  one  point  of  the 
compass,  the  nails  you  know  would  soon  get  rusty  with  time  and 
weather,  and  the  weathercock  would  be  looser  than  ever  when 
they  dropped  out.     But  of  this  not  a  word  to  any  one. 

E.  W.  B. 

P.S.  Mama  sends  her  kind  regards,  and  having  bound  me 
by  a  promise  before  exacted,  requires  me  to  say  that  "she  hopes 
you  will  be  both  wiser  and  better  when  you  have  read  my  letter, 
as  I  have  devoted  much  time  to  it." 

From  J.  B.  Liglitfoot  to  E.    W.  Benson. 

Trinity  College. 

March  8,  1848. 

My  dear  Benson, 

The  object  of  my  greatest  admiration  is  Westcott.  I 
shall  not  attempt  to  tell  you  all  his  good  qualities,  for  that  would 
not  be  very  possible,  but  imagine  to  yourself  one  of  the  most 
gentlemanly,  quietest,  humblest,  and  most  conscientious  of  man- 
kind !  (to  say  nothing  of  cleverness)  and  you  have  my  opinion  of 
him.  In  fact  the  high  men  of  this  year  are  a  very  fine  set 
altogether.  You  asked  me,  as  I  remember,  for  part  of  the  Service 
for  None :  if  you  still  want  it  tell  me  in  your  next  and  I  will  send 
it.  About  Canonical  Hours  :  I  keep  them  pretty  regularly,  but 
the  College  hours  are  very  inconvenient  for  it. 

And  so  "Self"  has  been  very  idle  this  vacation:  so  at  least 
"Self"  says,  but  is  "Self"  to  be  trusted?  I  fear  not:  especially 
as  I  am  already  informed  from  other  quarters  that  he  has  been 
very  hard  at  work.     But,  as  editors  say,  "  Judicent  peritiores." 

After  all,  I  think  I  shall  subside  quietly  into  a  curacy  after 

56  LIGHTFOOT   LETTERS  aet.  i8 

I  have  taken  my  degree :  at  least  such  is  my  present  intention, 
and,  wondrous  to  say,  it  has  been  the  same  for  the  last  half-year 
nearly,  with  the  exception  of  a  few  interruptions,  of  not  very 
long  continuance :  not  that  I  think  it  a  more  useful  life  than  a 
schoolmaster's,  but  quite  as  useful,  and  more  suited  to  myself. 
Wherever  we  turn  there  is  no  lack  of  work  to  be  done,  and 
comparatively  few  to  do  it,  "and  that  number  more  than  true." 
It  is  surprising  how  anyone  who  has  health  and  opportunities  can 
make  up  his  mind  to  live  in  ease  and  idleness  on  a  Fellowship  : 
but  it  is  very  easy  to  talk  coolly  and  dispassionately  on  such 
matters  when  there  are  no  temptations  in  the  way.  At  present 
one's  only  consideration  is  in  what  way  most  good  can  be 
done,  but  God  only  knows  what  it  might  be  under  different 

I  am  not  at  all  settled  in  my  Church  views,  that  is,  in  matters 
of  the  so-called  high  and  low  Church  parties ;  the  more  I  read 
on  the  subject  the  less  fixed  I  become,  and  I  should  be  heartily 
thankful  if  I  saw  any  prospect  of  coming  to  a  decided  conclusion 
on  such  points — yet  I  hope  it  may  be  so.  One  thing  I  am  at 
present  certain  of,  that  I  could  not  entertain  such  uncharitable 
views  as  those  held  by  the  extreme  (so-called)  high  Church  party. 
We  have  lately  had  a  disgraceful  instance  of  the  want  of  charity 
occasioned  by  religious  views  in  the  Hampden  controversy  (I  beg 
your  pardon  for  alluding  to  it  again).  We  might  look  in  vain 
for  that  Christian  virtue  which  hopeth  all  things  and  believeth 
all  things,  and  if  St  John  had  said  "  hate  one  another "  his 
precept  could  scarcely  have  been  better  fulfilled,  at  least  to  all 
appearance — yet  it  would  be  unfair  to  charge  this  uncharitableness 
all  on  the  one  party,  and  to  overlook  the  same  fault  in  the  other. 
But  in  the  one  it  seems  to  be  inseparable  from  the  system,  and 
there  must  be  something  wrong  in  that  belief  which  excites  such 
feelings  in  men  otherwise  good  and  exemplary. 

But  there  is  one  lesson  that  all  may  learn,  as  the  truth  of  it  is 
denied  by  none :  that  inward  moral  purity  ought  to  be  the  first 
great  aim  of  a  Christian ;  and  do  we  never, — do  we  not  often — 
neglect  this,  while  we  are  fighting  for  that  which,  to  say  the  best 
of  it,  is  disputed  ? 

Yours  very  affectionately, 

J.    B.    LiGHTFOOT. 

1848  ON   HIS   VOCATION  57 

To  J.  B.  Lightfoot. 

Saturday  Afternoon^ 

March  18,  1848. 

My  dear  Lightfoot, 

Your  observance  of  "  Canonical  Hours  "  is  a  terrible 
reproof  to  me,  who  am  so  negligent  of  that,  ay,  and  of  more 
important  duties  yet. 

The  fact  is,  I  have  to-day  received  a  letter  which,  though  very 
kindly  put,  sums  up  all  in  this  sentence — "  The  members  of  your 
family  who  hoped  to  help  (i.e.  me  at  College)  are  likely  to  be 
disappointed  " — and  now  what  am  I  to  do  ?     I  know  not. 

I  might  receive  assistance  if  I  would  pledge  myself  to  devote 
myself  to  the  Ministry  to  the  exclusion  of  school-teaching  (which 
I  cannot  do)  and  deliver  myself  up  bound  hand  and  foot  to  the 
Evangelicals,  which  I  will  not  do  for  the  sake  of  anything.  Who 
can  say  now  this  moment  what  will  be  my  position  one  year 
hence — will  it  be  that  all  the  happy  prospects  of  usefulness  in  the 
Church — the  loved  Church — are  to  be  smeared  out  of  my  view  for 
ever  for  a  punishment  of  early  sins  and  continued  unworthiness — 
and  into  what  course  of  life  shall  I  be  thrown? — "Behold  the 
servant  of  the  Lord ;  let  Him  do  with  me  as  seemeth  good  in  His 
sight " — and  yet  what  can  I  lack  more  than  the  will  that  He 
should  so  deal  with  me? — or  will  it  be  that  now  when  all 
prospects  have  failed  with  me,  and  all  earthly  trust  has  crushed 
under  me — for  though  I  had  a  sort  of  terrible  foreboding  that 
something  of  the  kind  would  befal  me,  yet  I  could  not  have 
conceived  the  position  in  which  I  now  feel  myself  to  be — will 
it  be  that  His  Right  Arm  will  help  me  yet,  as  it  did,  I  most  surely 

believe,  help  poor  P when  he  was  in  like  distress — and  yet 

how  can  I  expect  it  when  I  feel  how  single-hearted  and  upright 
he  was,  and  how  unlike  to  him  I  am  ?     Ora  pro  me. 

In  Christo  salus. 

Yours  most  affectionately. 

White  Benson. 

58  LIGHTFOOT   LETTERS  aet.  i8 

To  J.  B.  Lightfoot. 

March  26,  1848. 

Now  I  should  not  think  it  would  be  very  hard  to  translate 

this'  into  a  sort  of  memorial  for  College  life,  and  thus  to  pursue 
self-denial  without  running  any  risk  of  breaking  through  the  duties 
(for  such  they  are)  of  friendship  and  hospitality.  But  there  is 
another  sort  of  gratification  which  sorely  puzzles  me  as  to  the 
right  and  wrong  of  it — that  given  by  books,  pictures,  busts,  etc. — 
now  if  I  had  the  means,  the  giving  up  of  these  would  indeed 
be  bitter  self-denial  to  me,  and  I  am  not  clear  as  to  whether 
the  denying  them  to  oneself  would  not  be  even  harmful,  because 
they  are  intellectual  gratifications,  and  I  suppose  the  intellect  is 
expanded  by  them  very  greatly. 

The  constant  presence  in  Mr  Dacre's  thoughts  of  the  sentence 
"  How  hardly,"  etc.  brings  to  my  mind  a  strange  similarity  of 
feeling  which  once  happened  to  myself.  The  idea  came  first 
upon  me,  and  then  almost  overwhelmingly,  as  I  was  standing  last 
Midsummer  alone  upon  a  terrace  in  front  of  a  noble  house  which 
belonged  to  one  of  my  cousins,  which  he  had  lately  left  and 
which  he  purposed  to  sell.  All  about  the  house  was  most 
beautiful ;  a  fine  avenue,  and  his  estate  lying  almost  every  side  of 
it,  and  in  front  one  of  the  most  beautiful  views  in  the  most 
beautiful  part  of  Yorkshire.  You  cannot  think  how  crushingly 
Christ's  words  came  over  me,  as  I  saw  my  cousin's  property 
before  me,  and  thought  of  his  large  and  happy  family.  "  He  that 
forsaketh  houses  or  lands  or  children  or  wife  or  friends  for  my 
sake,  shall  receive  an  hundred-fold  with  persecution  now  in  this 
present  life,  and  in  the  world  to  come  life  everlasting."  You 
cannot  think  how  I  was  haunted  by  those  words  for  weeks  and 
weeks  ;  wherever  I  was,  or  went,  or  whatever  I  was  about,  those 
few  words  were  ringing  in  my  ears  day  and  night.  I  do  verily 
believe  that  the7i  if  I  had  had  any  extent  of  property  in  the  world, 
I  should  have  sacrificed  it,  and  gone  forth  like  Francis  d'Assisi. 
But  the  impression  passed  away,  and,  with  shame  I  say  it,  the 
words  fall  as  dead  upon  my  ear  now,  as  if  they  had  not  been  my 
whole  thoughts.  But  I  do  pray  God  that  if  ever  He  should  bless 
me  with  the  two  first.  He  will  give  me  them  as  a  trial,  and  give 
me  strength  to  put  them  wholly  to  His  service ;  and  while  my 
present  mind  lasts  I  hope  that  I  may  be  enabled  to  resist  the 

^  A  passage  from  a  devotional  book  that  he  had  been  discussing. 


alluring  prospects  of  comfort  and  happiness  which  the  others  hold 
out,  and  so  forsake  them  as  much  as  if  I  had  had  them  and  given 
them  up  after.  What  sacrifices  would  it  not  be  worth  to  be  able 
to  say  when  life  is  nearly  over,  what  St  Paul  says  in  to-night's 
second  lesson^ ! 

I  had  intended  to  say  much  to  you  about  Newman,  whom  I 
heard  preach  a  little  while  ago,  a  man  in  whom  the  severe 
mortifications  of  the  Middle  Ages  are  again  revived.  Christ  help 
him.     He  taught  me  wondrous  lessons. 

Pray  write  soon.  How  rejoiced  I  am  in  Westcott's  success — 
and  how  delighted  with  what  I  hear  of  him  from  all  sides — and 
how  mortified  to  think  of  the  folly  and  wrongheadedness  with 
which  I  used  once  to  behave  to  him.  Oh  !  how  I  do  hope  some 
day  to  know  him. 

Believe  me,  yours  most  affectionately, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

ORA  .  ORA  .  ORA  .   PRO  .  ME  .  MISERO. 

From  J.  B.  LigJitfoot  to  E.    W.  Benson. 

April  29,  1848. 
My  dear  Benson, 

And  so  you  have  been  going  to  hear  Mr  Newman. 
I  am  afraid  that  the  opinion  of  us  two  on  the  propriety  of  this 
would  be  at  variance,  but  as  long  as  you  act  up  to  your  own  con- 
scientiously formed  views  on  the  matter,  I  have  nothing  to  say. 
When  you  write  next,  will  you  tell  me  all  about  his  sermon  and 
how  you  liked  it? 

Now  as  to  Evangelicalism — Pseudo-Evangelicalism  I  mean — 
I  daresay  you  recollect  some  time  ago  on  a  Sunday  evening  (I 
think)  as  we  were  going  to  Church  together,  you  spoke  in  what 
seemed  to  me  then  to  be  harsh  terms  of  Evangelicalism,  and  I 
told  you  I  thought  you  were  uncharitable :  well,  I  have  very 
much  modified  my  opinion,  and  I  daresay  that  I  should  agree 
with  you  now.  And  we  ought  to  feel  grateful  to  the  writers  of  the 
Oxford  Tracts  for  their  efforts  against  the  absurdities  of  the 
Evangelical  system,  particularly  the  exaltation  of  preaching  to  the 

^  The  Lesson,  2  Tim.  iv.  (Old  Lectionary),  contains  the  passage  "I  have 
fought  a  good  fight,  I  have  finished  my  course,  I  have  kept  the  faith."  It  is 
also  the  Gospel  of  St  Luke's  Day,  Oct.  18,  and  the  words  were  applied  to  him 
in  1896  in  many  pulpits,  and  by  many  hearts. 

6o  LIGHTFOOT   LETTERS  aet.  i8 

detriment  of  praying.  Mind,  I  have  not  altered  my  opinion  of 
the  utility  of  preaching  which  you  were  inclined  at  one  time 
to  underrate.  But  to  see  the  way  people  run  after  popular 
preachers,  and  the  preachers  set  themselves  up  as  idols  to  their 
congregations,  is  enough  to  condemn  the  system  :  it  is  just  the 
same  longing  after  novelty,  which  impelled  men  of  old  to  leave 
their  parish  Churches  and  run  after  mendicant  friars  and  other 
itinerant  preachers,  for  the  sake  of  hearing  something  fresh.  If 
there  were  no  alternative  but  Tractarianism  or  Evangelicalism, 
I  should  not  hesitate  a  moment  in  making  my  choice. 

Yours  most  affectionately, 

J.    B.    LiGHTFOOT. 

To  J.  B.  Lightfoot  on  "■High  Church"  doctrines. 

Birmingham  Heath. 

May  3,  1848. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

You  may  well  fancy  that  your  last  letter  was  by  no 
means  qualified  to  lull  any  apprehensions  I  might  have  had  as 
to  Tractarianism  in  you.  However  I  am  sure  that  it  is  no  use 
to  talk  about  these  things  in  letters  when  you  have  no  opportunity 
of  explaining  phrases  which  are  liable  to  misconstruction.  You 
have  misapprehended  one  or  two  things  in  my  last.  But  if  you 
turn  Tractarian  again — in  even  a  moderate  sense  of  that  very 
ambiguous  word — after  having  been  Tractarian  once  before,  and 
Arnoldine  once  or  twice — why  then  I  do  not  think  we  shall  stand 
much  chance  of  working  together  in  after  life,  and  I  do  not  believe 
we  were  ever  intended  to  be  separate. 

I  remember  once  making  the  remark  to  you  that  wherever 
you  opened  the  New  Testament  you  saw  undoubted  evidences 
in  every  page  that  it  was  what  it  professed  to  be,  "  the  New 
Testament  of  our  Lord  and  Saviour  Jesus  Christ,"  and  how 
utterly  opposed  to  the  spirit  of  Unitarianism  was  the  way  in 
which  you  see  thick  over  every  page  the  capital  letters  J C 

Now  if  you  could  fancy  persons  holding  Tractarian  views 
placed  in  the  position  of  the  SS.  Apostles,  and  writing  letters 
of  the  same  character  to  the  different  Churches,  would  the 
letters  which  would  catch  your  eye  be  the  same  as  they  are 
now?  Clearly  not.  There  would  be  a  goodly  number  of  S's 
for  Sacrament,  and  of  H's  for  Holy — not  used  as  that  lovely 


word  aytot  in  St  Paul  is  used,  but  said  of  all  kinds  of  things  and 
places  and  dead  men  and  things— and  above  all  there  would  be 
a  great  number  of  C's  for  Church  and  P's  for  Priests.  I  will 
not  for  an  instant  deny  the  truth  of  what  you  say  of  the  High 
Churchman's  character  in  general.  Only  remember  that  there 
must  be  something  analogous  in  the  beginning  of  every  new 
system — new^  I  mean,  to  the  state  of  society  in  which  it  makes 
its  appearance,  whether  it  be  new  altogether,  or  old  revived — 
and  consider  that  the  next  generation,  at  least  the  next  after  that, 
which  springs  from  these  High  Churchmen,  will  be  born  to  the 
High  Church  principles,  and  will  go  on  in  them,  not  as  those 
who  are  bound  to  carry  them  out  in  practice,  provided  they 
support  the  externals  in  profession.  Just  in  the  same  way  as 
Methodism,  which  in  its  rise  had  so  many  things  lovely  and 
pleasant  in  it,  the  perfect  uprightness  of  its  professors,  their 
unimpeachable  morality,  their  prayings  in  churchyards,  their 
shunning  of  all  profanity,  and  even  worldly  merriment,  the 
"psalms  and  hymns  and  spiritual  songs"  which  "a  man  being 
merry"  sang  about  his  work,  all  this  degenerated  in  their  grand- 
children into  the  same  stern  rigidity  of  demeanour,  while  within 
seven  other  spirits  came,  with  "envy,  hatred  and  malice,  and  all 
uncharitableness,"  with  far  too  many  of  that  happy  company. 

As  to  modern  Heretics,  think  for  one  moment  how  utterly 
different  they  are  from  the  ancient  "  Nicolaitans,  whose  doctrine 
I  hate,"  or  from  any  other  sect  which  existed  in  Apostolic  times, 
before  you  venture  to  apply  the  awful  language  of  Holy  Scripture 
against  them  to  the  Dissenters  of  this  day. 

Believe  me,  ever  yours, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  /.  B.  Lightfoot 

Birmingham  Heath. 

July  5,  1848. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

I  am  sorry,  very  sorry,  you  could  not  come  down  to 
Birmingham  for  two  or  three  days,  though  it  was  hardly  to  be 
expected.  I  should  have  been  so  rejoiced  to  see  you  once  again. 
You  do  not  know  how  I  have  seemed  to  ivant  you  lately ;  more 
so  during   last   half-year   than   ever  before.     Every  morning   in 

62  LIGHTFOOT   LETTERS  aet.  i8 

walking  to  school  I  was  certain  to  be  reminded  of  you  by  some- 
thing or  other;  and  young  Guest  and  I  used  to  be  constantly 
"  commemorating "  your  words,  looks  or  deeds — and  saying 
"  I  wish  old  Joe  were  walking  along  with  us  just  as  he  did." 
However,  no  use  crying,  it  won't  be  long,  I  hope,  before  our 
walks  are  resumed.      14th  of  October,  Hurrah! 

I  must  tell  you  that  a  letter  of  yours  dated  April  2gth,  which 
has  never  been  properly  answered  yet,  rather  alarmed  me  when 
I  first  received  it — and  I  certainly  do  think  that  there  is  a  very 
strangely  marked  Tradarian  sort  of  tone  about  it ;  if  this  were 
really  so,  I  should  be  grieved  indeed  \  I  do  hope  you  have  not 
been  blown  round  again,  and  that,  because  Evangehcahsm  is 
wrong,  you  therefore  think  its  opposite  right.  Still  my  own 
notions  on  the  subject  are  exceedingly  vague  and  indefinite, 
much  more  so  than  when  you  were  here. 

Do  not  say  anything  to  me  about  "conscientiously  formed 
opinions  as  to  the  propriety  "  of  going  to  hear  Newman  preach — 
for  I  have  none.  I  went  one  Sunday  evening  in  Lent  because 
I  wished  to  hear  him,  and  I  did  hear  him,  and  I  am  very  glad 
that  I  did.  He  is  a  wonderful  man  truly,  and  spoke  with  a  sort 
of  Angel  eloquence,  if  you  comprehend  me.  Sweet,  flowing, 
unlaboured  language  in  short,  very  short,  and  very  pithy  and 
touching  sentences.  Such  a  style  of  preaching  I  never  heard 
before,  never  hope  again  to  hear.  Yet  it  reminded  me  very 
forcibly  of  Arnold,  and  his  appearance  was  exceedingly  interest- 
ing ;  he  was  very  much  emaciated,  and  when  he  began  his  voice 
was  very  feeble,  and  he  spoke  with  great  difficulty,  nay  sometimes 
he  gasped  for  breath ;  but  his  voice  -was  very  sweet,  rather  like 
Westcott's  though.  But  oh,  Lightfoot,  never  you  turn  Romanist 
if  you  are  to  have  a  face  like  that — it  was  awful — the  terrible  lines 
deeply  ploughed  all  over  his  face,  and  the  craft  that  sat  upon  his 
retreating  forehead  and  sunken  eyes.  He  was  a  strange  spectacle 
altogether — and  to  think  of  that  timid-looking,  little,  weak-voiced 
man  having  served  old  England  as  he  has  done.  For  his  manner, 
I  could  not  describe  it  to  you  more  exactly  than  in  the  words 
which  old  Izaak  Walton  used  of  Hooker.  "  Of  a  mean  stature 
and  stooping,  and  yet  more  lowly  in  the  thoughts  of  his  soul; 
his  body  worn  out,  not  with  age,  but  study  and  holy  mortifica- 
tions; though  he   was    not   purblind,    yet    he   was    short   or 

weak-sighted " — when  N.  began  to  preach  the  light  near  the 
pulpit  was   extinguished — "and  where   he   fixt  his  eyes  at   the 

1848  ON   NEWMAN  63 

beginning  of  the  sermon,  there  they  continued  until  it  was 
ended."  This  was  remarkably  so  in  Newman.  His  subject 
was  the  Gospel  of  the  day,  the  Parable  of  the  Sower;  the 
Wayside  Hearers.  He  illustrated  it  beautifully  by  the  manner 
in  which  najnes  caught  in  casual  conversation  are  listened  to. 
How  some  names  glide  over  the  ear  without  in  the  least  affecting 
us,  while  names  of  dear  friends,  or  of  public  characters  whom  we 
view  with  love  or  admiration,  cause  a  strange  thrill  within.  How 
eagerly  we  listen  to  catch  some  piece  of  information  about  them, 
and  how  the  very  name  recalls  scenes  and  awakens  in  us  thoughts, 
that  supply  us  for  hours  with  matter  for  reflection.  He  went  on 
to  apply  this  to  religion,  or  rather  to  religious  feeling;  what  a 
world  of  thought  was  stirred  by  the  name  Stephen,  by  the  name 
Paul,  by  the  name  of  the  lowliest  Christian  who  was  known  to  us 
for  some  deed  of  devotion  or  piety;  above  all  "by  that  most 
Holy  and  most  Reverend  Name,  Our  Lord  Jesus  Christ."  Then  if 
you  had  seen  how  his  eye  glistened  and  his  whole  face  glowed,  as 
he  turned  round  to  the  Altar,  lifting  his  Priest's  cap,  and  bowing 
low,  while  he  pronounced  His  name,  and  with  such  a  voice — you 
could  not  but  have  felt  your  heart  yearn  towards  him,  and  when 
you  observed  what  a  thrill  ran  through  the  congregation,  you  must 
have  said,  "  Surely  if  there  be  a  man  whom  God  has  raised  up 
in  this  generation  with  more  than  common  powers  to  glorify  His 
Name,  this  man  is  he  "—but  how  was  it  spoiled  when  he  linked 
in  "the  Name  of  the  Holy  Mother  of  God";  when  he  joined 
together  "  Jesu !  Maria ! "  How  painful  was  it  to  think  that  he 
had  been  once  an  English  Churchman ;  and  yet  how  can  we 
wonder  at  the  change  when  we  think  of  the  thousands  of  prayers 
offered  up  abroad  and  at  home,  in  Church  and  in  Chamber,  that 
Newman  might  be  converted  ?  I  am  very  much  inclined  to  that 
opinion  of  Pusey's  which  I  well  remember  laughing  at,  that  he 
was  removed  from  us  for  that  we  valued  him  not  as  we  should 
have  done,  and  were  unworthy  of  him.  How  sincerely  do  I  hope 
that  it  may  be  as  Pusey  also  said,  "That  he  was  only  labouring  in 
another  portion  of  the  Lord's  Vineyard  " ;  yet  to  my  mind  it  is 
difficult,  nay  impossible,  to  conceive  that  he  has  not  sinned  the 
sin  of  those  who  have  left  their  first  love.  Ora  pro  Jacobo' 
Henrico  Newman. 

But  most  sad  of  all  was  it  to  watch  him  during  the  chanting 
of  the  Loretto  Litany.     Through  the  invocations  to  the  Blessed 
^  A  not  wholly  uncharacteristic  error  for  "  Johanne." 

64  LIGHTFOOT   LETTERS  aet.  19 

Trinity,  and  those  to  most  of  the  Saints,  and  the  beginning  of 
those  to  the  Virgin,  arx  Davidis,  Turris  Sionis,  Janua  Coeli,  etc. 
etc.  he  went  on  chanting  indeed,  but  withal  somewhat  carelessly 
and  looking  about.  But  when  they  came  to  Spes  peccatorum, 
auxilium  fidorum,  salus  Christianorum — (to  the  Virgin,  mind  you) 
he  clasped  his  hands  fervently,  and  looked  up  with  an  expression 
of  face,  I  had  well-nigh  said  heavenly,  but  how  far  from  that ! 

Well,  Sir,  I  hope  you  are  not  tired  of  this  very  long  account 
of  Newman,  but  however  to  quote  a  passage  of  your  letter — yes, 
Yours,  Mr  Consistency,  yotirs  who  deprecate  my  going  to  hear 
him — "  tell  me  all  about  his  sermon  and  how  you  liked  it." 

When  may  I  look  out  for  None?  My  Breviary  is  finished 
with  that  exception.  The  Commemoratio  Defunctorum  with 
some  extensive  alterations. 

Yours  affectionately, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

From  J.  B.  LigJitfoot. 


July  19,  1848. 
My  dear  Benson, 

I  am  sorry  the  Tractarian  tone  of  my  letter  should 
have  alarmed  you ;  you  must  not  think  too  much  of  such 
opinions,  unsettled  as  they  are,  as  you  meet  with  in  my  letters. 
If  by  the  term  Tractarian,  you  would  include  the  extreme  and 
violent  sentiments  of  some  of  the  Tracts,  why  then  I  am  very  far 
removed  from  that,  perhaps  quite  as  far  as  you  yourself  are ;  but 
if  you  would  class  Hook  among  the  Tractarians  why  in  that  case 
I  must  confess  that  my  opinions  have  taken  a  great  leaning  that 
way  of  late.  And  this  not,  I  think,  because  I  see  so  much 
objectionable  in  Evangelicalism,  but  for  other  independent 
reasons.  Partly  because  I  have  got  to  look  with  suspicion  on 
the  doctrines  held  by  Hampden  and  his  party — there  is  so  much 
self-satisfaction,  and  sometimes  a  spirit  slightly  verging  on  pro- 
faneness.  (If  the  Edinburgh  Review  is  to  be  taken  as  the  organ 
of  the  party,  not  a  little  so.)  Also  I  find  that  there  can  be  as 
much  want  of  Charity  in  the  very  condemnation  of  unchari- 
tableness,  as  there  is  in  the  so-styled  bigotry  of  the  other  party. 
In  the  next  place  I  see  the  spirit  which  animates  the  High 
Churchman  generally ;  such  a  sacrifice  of  self  and  selfish  desires 

1848  ON   PUSEYISM  65 

to  his  principles,  the  fruits  of  which  are  clearly  visible  far  and 
wide  in  the  English  Church  :  indeed  High  Churchmen  (if  I  may 
use  the  word)  seem  to  be  the  great  regenerating  element  among 
us,  the  only  one,  I  think,  which  will  be  able  to  withstand  the 
assaults  of  Romanism  and  Protestant  Dissent. 

Lastly  what  I  ought  to  have  placed  first ;  the  truth  of  the 
opinions  themselves ;  without  this  of  course  the  other  two  points 
would  be  utterly  worthless,  but  while  they  serve  in  some  little 
degree  to  establish  this,  they  become  of  great  importance  when 
supported  by  it,  and  are  then  themselves  a  great  evidence  in 
favour  of  what  are  called  Church  principles.  This  subject  is  too 
wide  to  treat  of  in  a  letter,  even  if  I  had  the  materials  ready,  but 
I  have  half  a  mind  to  trouble  you  with  a  word  or  two  some  of 
these  days  on  Apostolical  Succession. 

People  in  general,  as  you  know,  have  such  strange  and  false 
notions  about  "  Puseyism,"  they  fancy  it  was  some  dish  cooked 
by  Dr  Pusey  and  Co.  at  Oxford  a  few  years  since  to  deceive 
weak-minded  people  with,  the  authors  of  it  being  of  course  Jesuits 
in  disguise — and  they  never  dream  that,  whether  right  or  wrong,  it 
was  the  faith  held  by  the  confessors  and  martyrs  of  old,  yea  and 
by  our  own  reformers  too,  whom  they  so  much  extol  (and  justly 
too)  and  by  Taylor,  that  pattern  of  a  Bishop,  and  Hooker,  and  by 
many  others  we  could  mention,  of  whom  the  world  was  not 
worthy.  Perhaps  you  may  smile  at  some  things  I  have  said  here 
compared  with  my  former  opinions,  but  again  I  say  do  not  lay 
too  much  stress  upon  them.  I  want  to  see  you  exceedingly  to 
talk  over  these  and  other  matters. 

Very  much  obliged  am  I  for  your  account  of  Newman,  but, 
before  I  begin  on  that  point,  where  is  my  inconsistency  in  this  ? 
I  can't  pretend  that  I  am  very  consistent,  so  let  that  alone :  but 
what  is  there  inconsistent  in  saying  "  I  don't  think  you  did  right 
in  going  to  such  and  such  a  place,  but  as  you  have  been,  tell  me 
what  you  heard  "  ?  For  all  I  see  it's  just  the  same  as  if  I  had 
read  the  account  in  the  paper  (only  a  great  deal  better) ;  if  I  had 
sent  you  to  hear  Newman,  that  you  might  retail  the  particulars  to 
me,  then  that  would  be  highly  inconsistent... 

The  propriety  of  the  act  itself,  viz.  of  your  going  to  St  Chad's, 
depends  on  this :  whether  you  are  at  liberty  (whether  from 
curiosity  or  other  motives)  to  take  part  in  an  act  of  worship  which 
is  schismatical  and  heretical  at  the  same  time,  there  being  no 
excuse  to  allege  on  the  ground  that  there  was  no  other  place 

B.  I.  ^ 

66  TUTORSHIP    IN   SCOTLAND  aet.  19 

of  worship  near,  whether  you  do  not  give  your  sanction  to  heresy 
and  schism  by  this.  Now  the  writings  of  the  Apostles  speak  very 
strongly  on  both  points,  I  mean  schism  and  heresy :  and  I  cannot 
but  think  that  it  is  a  dangerous  doctrine  to  say  that  such  precepts 
are  not  applicable  to  our  times  :  that  the  cautions  against  those 
who  cause  divisions  in  Christ's  body,  or  against  false  teachers, 
have  no  meaning  and  no  reference  to  us, 

I  remain,  yours  very  affectionately, 

J.    B.    LiGHTFOOT. 

In  the  summer  holidays  of  1848,  before  he  went  up  to 
Cambridge,  my  father  took  a  holiday  tutorship.  He  had 
to  teach  two  boys  of  the  name  of  Wicksted,  whose  father 
was  then  tenant  of  Abergeldie  Castle.  Of  a  large  number 
of  letters  written  from  Abergeldie  to  his  mother  and  sisters 
I  select  the  following. 

To  his  Mother. 

Abergeldie  Castle,  Ballater, 
Aberdeenshire.    1848. 
My  dear  JMother, 

I  am  all  safe  and  sound  at  my  date,  and  a  very  old 
ancient  place  too,  Ma'am,  and  one  of  the  prettiest  spots  I  have 
seen  in  my  travels.  Suppose  you  or  your  ghost  to  be  close 
beside  me  now,  you  would  see  before  you  a  jolly  dining-table  — 
first  in  position  as  in  importance, — and  above  your  head  a  stone 
vaulted  ceiling,  rather  adorned,  not  quite  in  the  best  possible 
taste,  but  with  painted  groinings  and  corbels  \  and  behind  me  you 
will  see  a  fine  massive  mantel-piece  of  granite  with  an  open  hearth 
and  Elizabethan  sort  of  fire-dogs,  and  the  wooden  logs  just 
smouldering  out  in  their  own  white  ash.  And  had  you  been 
looking  over  my  shoulder  just  as  I  wrote  the  words  "  behind  me  " 
four  lines  above,  you  would  have  heard  a  melancholy  toned  clock 
in  the  turret  above  striking  eleven.  And  what  time  soever  you 
enter  this  room,  be  it  the  noon  of  night  or  the  noon  of  day,  you 
hear  a  strong  rushing  gurgling  noise,  and  that  is  the  river  Dee, 
— and  now  I  shall  just  get  up  and  go  to  the  window  on  my  right 
hand  to  look  out  and  tell  you  how  the  hoary  old  gentleman  looks 

1848  ABERGELDIE  67 

to-night.  Well,  the  sky  is  overcast,  and  he  looks  very  black 
through  the  boughs,  but  there  is  a  white  breaker  all  across  him 
linking  him  on  to  a  white  ledge  of  stone,  and  then  there  is  a 
tall  hedge,  black,  then  a  highway,  pale,  then  a  hill  dull  green,  with 
a  pine-wood  black,  then  purple  heather  and  moor,  and  clouds 
white  and  black  all  mixed  up  together  up  to  the  Pole. 

Good-night,  dearest  Mama — love  and  kisses  to  the  Sleepers. 

Wednesday  morning,  7.30. 

I  was  interrupted  yesterday  to  go  salmon  fishing.  I  caught 
a  few  salmon  but  they  were  too  small  to  keep,  and  one  trout 
which  was  large  enough  to  keep.  If  any  fishing  for  amusement  is 
justifiable,  fly-fishing  certainly  is.  It  requires  so  much  skill,  and 
it  looks  so  beautiful,  and  then  you  don't  know  how  delightful  it  is 
stepping  along  from  stone  to  stone  to  get  a  good  place  to  stand,  a 
yard  or  so  from  the  bank.  The  water  of  the  Dee  is  as  pure  as 
crystal.  It  is  a  very  broad  and  shallow  stream  here  and  for  the 
forty  miles  which  I  have  travelled  along  it,  and  here  it  is  fringed 
deep  with  the  famous  "birk"  or  birch  trees  "o'  Abergeldie." 
They  are  not  exceedingly  large  but  they  are  certainly  in  greater 
abundance  than  anywhere  else  in  the  whole  world.  The  ap- 
pearance of  a  "planting"  of  them  when  the  wind  is  fresh,  is  a 
most  beautiful  sight,  as  they  shake  their  long  trailing  tresses,  and 
turn  up  their  white  side  to  the  wind.  Last  Sunday  we  went  to 
Kirk  in  the  morning.  And  oh,  dearest  English  Church,  how 
much  do  thy  services  surpass  even  this  reformed  Kirk  of  Scotland 
— to  say  nothing  of  the  inferiority  of  the  building — for  had  there 
been  a  fair  building  in  a  retired  village  of  England  it  would  have 
been  Popish  work — within  there  is  no  Communion  Table,  no 
Font,  nothing  holy  and  Christian  looking,  but  the  place  is 
arranged  just  like  a  theatre — the  floor  is  covered  all  over  with 
pews,  and  the  gallery  and  pulpit  are  thus  arranged  in  a  half 
octagon  with  the  pulpit  in  the  middle,  against  the  wall  between 
two  windows,  and  a  desk  below  for  two  precentors  to  lead  the 
singing.  And  then  the  Service — it  was  as  like  as  possible  to  what 
I  remember  of  the  Independent  System.  No  Psalms,  no  First 
and  Second  Lessons,  no  "  Glory  to  the  Father,"  no  Lord's  Prayer 
even.  From  the  Minister's  manner  it  was  clear  that  every  Sunday 
there  was  exactly  the  same  kind  of  prayer,  a  little  varied  in 
expression,  and  Mr  Wicksted  assures  me  that  it  is  so ;  so  that 
in  fact  the  objections  against  a  Liturgy  as  formal  are  «//,  and 

68  LETTERS    FROM   ABERGELDIE  aet.  19 

to  the  specious  name  of  heart-praying  is  sacrificed  all  the  beauty 
of  the  worship.  However,  the  Minister  is  here  very  much  beloved 
and  esteemed,  and  the  full  congregation,  considering  that  many  of 
his  flock  have  to  come  seven  or  eight  miles,  speaks  volumes  for 
the  good  he  has  done.  By  the  way,  I  never  was  more  struck 
than  I  am  now  with  the  appropriateness  of  the  surplice  to  the 
priest  ministering.  Here  they  wear  gowns.  O  Holy  Mother,  I 
will  never  leave  thee,  yet  amend  thee  lest  thy  name  be  blotted 
out  from  among  the  Churches. 

Dearest  Mother,  your  most  affectionate  son, 

E.  W.  B. 

To  Ids  sister  Harriet. 

Thursday  Morning, 

Sep.  I,  1848. 
My  dear  Harriet, 

I  don't  know — but  it  seems  to  me  as  if  this  first  part 
of  my  letter  sounds  rather  cross;  you  must  excuse  it  if  so,  because 
I  am  writing  in  the  intervals  of  a  scolding — "Yes,  of  course,"  The 
ladies — "  Don't  you  know  that?"  are  gone  out  on  an — "Why,  to 
be  sure  " — expedition  to  the  Linn  of  Dee — "  Idling  again  ! " — a 
beautiful  "goose  the  lad  is!"  waterfall — "What  are  you  crying 
about?"  in  the  neighbourhood  of  "What's  the  Latin  for  Par- 
nassus?" with  Mr  Clive  "Who  was  the  Pontifex  Maximus?"  and 

Captain    "JuHus    Caesar,    to   be    sure"   D ,   a    conceited 

puppy  who  came  here  last  night,  and  treated  me  in  the  most 
contemptuous  manner.  I'll  punish  him  myself  though,  I'll  fill 
his  gun  with  soap  and  water,  and  put  blue  fire  in  his  candle, 
I  vow. 

Thursday  evening. 

Captain  D is,  I  find,  a  brother  of  Lord  H 's,  and 

his  manner  is  pretty  much  the  same  to  all  mankind.  I'll  punch 
him  though.  But  he  draws  very  nice  in  water-colours  and 
sepia.  There — it  has  just  struck  ten  and  I  am  only  just  come 
down  from  dessert — shameful — the  amount  of  time  wasted  by 
myself  and  by  others  for  me.  This  afternoon  a  large  party  of  us 
went  to  Loch  Muich  to  fish,  but  the  "  Gods  and  little  fishes " 
were  unpropitious  to  me,  and  I  had  no  hand  in  catching  one. 

1848  FIRST   SIGHT   OF   THE   QUEEN  69 

Good-bye,  coffee  has  just  walked  upstairs — Oh !  the  Highland 
Ball  is  to  be  early  next  week — you  must  please  send  me  some 
white  kid  gloves  by  return  of  post,  as  it  is  quite  impossible  to  get 
anything  of  the  kind  within  a  thousand  miles  of  Abergeldie. 

Friday  morning. 

On  reading  your  letter,  my  dear  sister,  I  was  struck,  I  must 
confess,  rather  painfully,  with  the  external  detail  that  you  give  me 
of  your  Confirmation  and  First  Communion,  not  because  I  was 
not  very  glad  to  hear  all  about  it,  even  down  to  Mr  Latimer's  cap 
and  Miss  Chavasse's  Ticket,— but  because  you  do  not  tell  me  one 
word  of  all  that  tide  of  feeling  which  I  think  you  must  have 
felt,  or  of  vows  of  holiness  there  renewed  before  GOD  and  the 
Church.  Do  not  think  that  I  would  wish  you  roughly  to  expose 
the  "  thoughts  that  lie  too  deep  "  for  words — still  I  wish  that  you 
had  given  me  a  word  or  two  about  the  same. 

Oh  agony  of  wavering  thought. 
When  sinners  first  so  near  are  brought ; 
It  is  my  Maker — dare  I  stay  ? — 
My  Saviour — dare  I  turn  away? 

Best  love, 

E.  W.  B. 

To  his  Mother. 


September  9. 

The  Queen  arrived  yesterday  about  half-past  two  o'clock. 
She  has  come  in  the  quietest  way  possible — has  dismissed 
all  her  guard,  and  immediately  upon  arriving  at  her  house, 
(although  after  a  ride  of  50  miles)  walked  up  to  the  summit  of 
the  hill  that  stands  above  the  house.  She  herself,  the  Prince, 
and  three  children  were  in  one  carriage  without  attendants.  The 
Prince  stood  up  to  look  at  Abergeldie,  and  looked  very  stately, 
and  the  Queen's  bow  as  she  passed  close  beside  us  was  very 
dignified.  At  first  I  thought  I  was  disappointed  in  her  looks, 
but  now  I  don't  (think)  I  was.  wShe  looked  very  well  but  dread- 
fully cold.  She  gazed  most  attentively  at  the  Castle,  of  which 
she  will  possibly  buy  the  present  laird's  life  interest :  in  the 
evening  there  were  bonfires,  &c.  &c.  but  the  great  lack  here  for 
receptions  of  the  kind  is  the  want  of  bells  :  there  was  nothing  of 
that  kind  to  raise  one's  spirits. 

70  HIGHLAND   GATHERING  aet.  19 

To  Ills  Mother. 

Abergeldie  Castle. 

Sep.  15,  1848. 
My  dear  Mama, 

Am  I  not  the  best  son  in  the  world?  Here  am  I 
sitting  away  from  all  the  fun  at  the  writing  table  in  the  corner 
of  the  drawing-room  to  write  this  letter.  However,  as  Mr  Hutton 
(the  Butler)  has  just  brought  me  coffee  to  console  myself  withal, 
I  shall  not  do  badly.  What  an  admirable  custom  is  that  of  taking 
coffee  after  dinner !  Oh !  Mocha,  fragrant  is  the  steam  of  the 
precious  ware,  soothing  its  fragrance  to  the  wearied  dinner-farer ! 

Mr  Wicksted,  Severne,  myself  and  the  lads  rode  on  Highland 
ponies  to  Invercauld,  the  seat  of  the  Farquharsons,  where  the 
Highland  Gathering  was  this  year  held.  The  rest  in  the  carriage; 
when,  after  a  beautiful  ride,  we  reached  the  Park,  groups  of 
picturesque  people  were  moving  onwards,  with  Highland  soldiers 
here  and  there  among  them. 

At  last  emerging  from  the  avenues  and  clumps  of  trees,  we 
came  on  to  a  large  fine  meadow,  with  a  small  space  enclosed  by 
ropes ;  from  the  meadow  rose  a  very  steep  slope  of  about  thirty 
feet  with  a  kind  of  lobby  in  the  middle,  to  a  lawn  before  the 

Having  disposed  of  our  ponies  we,  being  privileged  persons, 
made  the  best  of  our  way  to  the  lawn,  and  were  admitted  within 
the  double  line  of  Highland  Society's  kilted  lads  who  kept  out 
all  meaner  persons. 

The  Duke  of  Athole  and  the  Duke  of  Leeds,  who  is  a  Scotch 
Viscount  also,  should  have  been  there  by  two  o'clock,  but  it  was 
now  nearly  three  and  they  had  not  appeared,  and  the  Queen  was 
at  hand.  One  of  Mr  Clive's  servants  was  dispatched  on  horseback 
to  meet  them  and  hasten  them  on — and  the  simple  mistake  of 
being  late  brought  them  forward  with  tenfold  better  effect,  for  as 
they  marched  up  at  a  quick  run,  and  when  within  a  few  paces  of 
us,  turned  over  to  the  right  and  ran  orderly  down  the  steep  slope, 
it  looked  like  men  starting  to  charge,  and  had  no  Astley  sort  of 
effect  as  it  might  have  had  had  they  proceeded  slowly.  These 
men  were  well  armed  with  spiked  shields,  swords  and  Lochaber 
axes ;  and  from  the  petty  jealousy  of  their  eclipsing  the  Farquharson 
and  Duff  men  were  sent  down  into  the  meadow  at  a  distance 
from  the  Queen.     Scarcely  had  they  ranged  with  their  banners 

1848  THE    CHILDREN    OF   THE   QUEEN  71 

furled,  when  the  crowd  below  started  off  to  meet  the  Queen, 

whose  carriages  presently  appeared  on  the  Drive.     Hurrah  !    She 

looks  very  well  to-day !    Hurrah !  the  Royal  tartan !    Prince  Albert 

was    merely   dressed   as   a   gentleman — however    he   looks   very 

stately.     They  advanced  with  the   Princess  Royal  and  the  two 

Princes  to  the  seats  prepared  for  them  in  front  of  the  lawn,  with 

the  Farquharson  tartan  laid  beneath  their  feet.     But  I  forgot — as 

they  came  across  the  lawn,  five  young  Farquharsons — fine  lads 

indeed — Highlanders  all — knelt  before  them  in  turn  to  present 

them  with  bouquets — it  looked  very  well.     There  is  a  divinity 

doth  hedge  a  Queen,  certainly  when  one  unknown  to  us  comes  • 

forward,  and  every  head  is  uncovered,  and  every  tongue  praying 

God  to  save  her,  or  shouting  the  watchword  of  the  land. 

The  two  young  Princes  were  in  full  costume — the  Royal 
tartans,  dirks  and  brooches  and  bugles — they  wore  the  belted 
tartan,  that  is  when  the  tartan  is  drawn  up  from  the  kilt  to  the 
left  shoulder,  this  has  a  fine  effect  and  shows  off  the  figures  of 
men  to  great  advantage.     But  however  to  tell  you  all  about  the  \ 

R.  F.  and  have  done.  The  Prince  of  Wales  is  a  fair  little  lad, 
rather  of  slender  make,  with  a  good  head  and  a  remarkably  quiet 
and  thinking  face,  above  his  years  in  intelligence  I  should  think. 
The  Sailor  portrait  of  him  is  a  good  one,  but  does  not  express  the 
thought  that  there  is  on  his  little  brow.  Prince  Alfred  is  a  fair 
chubby  little  lad,  with  a  quiet  look,  but  quite  the  Guelph  face, 
which  does  not  appear  in  the  Prince  of  Wales.  The  Princess 
Royal  is  the  exact  counterpart  of  her  mother,  with  a  will  of  her 
own,  I  should  think.  The  Queen  was,  I  should  say,  the  most 
plainly  drest  lady  there ;  a  nice  looking  little  Highland  gentleman 
was  soon  brought  to  amuse  the  Royal  boys,  and  they  were  soon 
as  deeply  engaged  in  conversation  as  children  at  their  age  usually 
are — meantime  the  Princess  found  a  playmate  in  the  wee  Miss 
Farquharson — and  they  talked  away  at  a  great  rate.  "  Have 
you  got  a  garden?"  was  one  of  the  questions  which  the  Princess 
answered  with  a  "Yes,  have  you?"  The  subjects  were  not 
however  allowed  to  be  too  familiar — I  saw  Lady  Gainsborough 
several  times  check  little  Ross  when  he  got  too  free  and  stood 
in  front  of  the  Princes. 

Now,  don't  fancy  me  a  "  vulgar  observer  of  great  folk  " — only 
I  have  recorded  these  things  for  your  special  edification,  and  my 
sisters',  to  whom  commend  me  with  all  love. 

E.  W.  Benson. 



"  Here  sits  he,  slmping  wings  to  JiyT     Tennyson. 

My  father  was  elected  to  a  Subsizarship  at  Trinity  in 
1848.  Before  going  up,  on  his  way  to  Cambridge,  he 
paid  his  first  visit  to  London,  staying,  I  believe,  with  the 
Lightfoots,  who  were  then  living  at  Vauxhall :  he  began 
an  elaborate  diary  at  Cambridge,  somewhat  grandiloquently 
entitled  a  "Journal  of  College  Residence," — but  it  appears 
only  to  have  extended  to  two  pages  ;  it  is  headed  by  this 
little  distich: 

"  Beata,  Sancta,  Gloriosa  Trinitas 
Opus  secundet  quod  domus  norit  Sua." 

It  is  interesting  as  giving  his  earliest  impressions  of 

Oct.  16,  1848. 

When  talking  with  the  Wickendens  on  Thursday  Evening 
it  seemed  impossible  that  I  should  allow  any  obstacle  to  my 
impatience  to  meet  my  kindly  Mother':  much  as  I  had  heard 
of  the  wonders  of  London  and  nothing  as  I  knew  of  them,  I 
positively  vowed  that  I  would  not  stay  there  one  moment  be- 
yond the  earliest  time  at  which  I  was  permitted  to  reside  in  the 

1  Cainbridfre. 

1848  VISIT   TO   LONDON  73 

University.  Yet  I  have  taken  two  days  more,  and  as  I  lay  awake 
in  bed  this  morning  all  the  unseen  things  recurred  to  my  memory, 
and  the  repeated  assurances  of  my  fellows  that  I  should  find  the 
time  quite  long  enough.  But  of  all  the  things  that  I  have  seen 
there  are  two  which  will,  I  think,  never  be  obliterated  from  my 
memory  in  respect  of  the  first  impressions  they  produced.  The 
Memnon  Head'  and  the  Victoria  Tower.  Their  size  certainly 
has  upon  me  an  almost  overpowering  effect.  I  was  literally 
dumb  with  admiration,  and  I  verily  believe  that  had  I  been 
utterly  uneducated,  my  first  and  only  impulse  at  sight  of  the 
former  would  have  been  awful  worship. 

And  then  the  River — the  most  wondrous  and  mysterious  and 
yet  the  most  practical  and  business-like  thing  I  ever  beheld. 
Day  and  Night  it  is  equally  astonishing;  streaked  with  the  red 
reflections  of  the  lamps  of  the  next  bridge,  and  rushing  on  below 
in  darkness,  or  foul  and  filthy  in  broad  daylight  with  its  crowds 
of  people  treading  it  underfoot.  Nor  can  I  conceive  anything 
more  interesting  either  as  a  spectacle  or  as  associated  with  its 
peculiar  associations  than  the  banks.  Tower,  Paul's,  Somerset 
House,  Westminster,  Warehouses :  every  yard  is  subject  for 
voluminous  history.  And  even  apart  from  every  association, 
though  the  Mersey  when  I  have  seen  it  is  finer  than  the  Thames 
when  I  have  seen  that,  yet  for  the  ideas  that  irresistibly  pour  in 
and  throng  and  jostle,^ — no,  name  it  not. 

Surely  England  cannot  be  in  her  decline  as  so  many  of  those 
whom  most  I  know  tell  me,  when  her  metropolis  is  full  of  such 
true,  such  liberal,  such  refined  feeling  :  witness  the  crowds  with 
which  the  British  Museum  was  filled  admiring,  the  mighty 
company  that  yesterday  knelt  in  Westminster  worshipping. 

Doubtless  there  is  high  and  holy  work  for  heads  and  hearts 
and  hands  in  the  generation  to  come.  If  I  work  not  in  it,  with 
it,  for  it,  heavy  and  deserved  will  be  my  condemnation. 

Emmanuel ! 

Besides  his  Subsizarship  he  held  one  or  two  small  Ex- 
hibitions from  Birmingham  to  eke  out  his  slender  finances ; 

^  This  is  a  not  uncommon  error:  there  is  no  'head  of  Memnon'  in  the 
British  Museum,  as  the  statue  of  Memnon  has  no  face.  Probably  he  was 
thinking  of  the  cast  of  the  colossal  head  of  Rameses  II.  at  the  western  end  of 
the  great  Gallery  of  Antiquities.  Dr  Garnett  tells  me  he  has  often  heard  it 
alluded  to  as  Memnon. 

74  STRAITENED    MEANS  aet.  19 

— and  slender  indeed  they  were  :  the  family  was  growing 
up,  and  Mrs  Benson  was  very  hard  put  to  it  to  pay  for 
their  education.  With  her  acute  dislike  of  mentioning 
money  matters  she  preferred  to  undergo  real  privation 
rather  than  ask  her  relations  for  help.  She  cut  off  every 
possible  luxury,  dismissed  servants,  and  cheerfully  threw 
herself  with  her  two  elder  daughters  into  the  work  of  the 
house ;  she  even  schemed  to  embark  again  in  business  with 
one  of  her  husband's  patents  for  the  production  of  colours, 
an  idea  which  fortunately  fell  through. 

My  father  managed  to  get  through  his  first  year  at 
Cambridge  upon  something  over  £go.  All  hospitality 
except  of  the  most  casual  kind  was  of  course  out  of  the 
question,  and  my  father  has  spoken  to  me  feelingly  of  the 
miseries  he  endured  through  living  with  a  large  circle  of 
more  or  less  wealthy  friends.  He  read  hard,  both  in 
mathematics  and  classics,  and  reduced  sleep  and  exercise 
to  a  minimum. 

He  never  had  been  much  of  an  athlete,  though  he 
was  a  fair  football  player ;  at  cricket,  according  to  his 
own  account,  he  was  always  a  most  indifferent  performer. 
He  told  me  that  in  his  last  summer  half  at  school  he  had 
actually  managed  to  bowl  someone  out,  and  was  standing 
complacently  receiving  the  plaudits  of  his  friends  when  he 
fell  unconscious  on  the  ground,  having  been  struck  on  the 
top  of  his  head  by  the  ball  which  had  been  thrown  high 
into  the  air  in  triumph. 

At  Cambridge  he  gave  up  all  games  and  recreations 
except  bathing,  and  limited  himself  to  walks,  taking  the 
various  "grinds"  to  Grantchester,  Madingley,  or  Coton  in 
turns,  and  exploring  the  churches  of  the  neighbourhood. 
One  sacred  institution  he  founded  :  he  breakfasted  with 
Lightfoot  every  Sunday  on  a  veal-and-ham  pie,  and  the 
two  set  the  greatest  store  by  this  simple  festivity.     After 

i849  A    MATHEMATICAL   TUTOR  75 

breakfast  they  read  some  passage  of  the  Fathers  together, 
and  this  was  my  father's  first  introduction  to  Cyprian, 
whose  De  Unitate  they  read  and  discussed. 

For  mathematics  he  had  a  considerable  aptitude,  but 
he  always  maintained  humorously  that  his  success  in  them 
was  hampered  by  an  indolent  Coach,  whose  name  I  forget. 

My  father  used  to  give  a  most  absurd  account  of  his 
visits  to  this  Coach,  who  was  a  pronounced  Evangelical : 
he  was  always  in  bed  when  his  pupils  arrived,  and  was 
roused  with  difficulty.  He  used  then — through  a  chink  in 
the  bedroom  door — to  propound  a  sum  to  fill  up  the  time. 
Then  he  made  an  elaborate  toilet,  singing  hymns  all  the 
time  out  of  a  little  volume  with  immense  unction,  occasion- 
ally putting  in  a  head  accompanied  by  the  hymn-book  at 
the  door  and  propounding  another  problem.  My  father 
said  that  the  result  of  this  species  of  coaching  was  that  he 
went  into  the  Trigonometry  paper  of  the  Mathematical 
Tripos  ignorant  of  the  meaning  of  the  symbol  it.  In  his 
freshman's  term  he  attended  the  lectures  of  Professor 
Sedgwick  on  Geology  ;  about  these  my  father  wrote  in 
1887  :  "  It  was  the  first  course  of  voluntary  lectures  I  ever 
attended  ;  at  the  conclusion  of  the  course  Sedgwick  said 
with  some  emotion  that  he  would  never  lecture  again ;  but 
this  I  believe  he  said  with  the  utmost  sincerity  year  by 
year  for  many  years  later.  He  impressed  me  with  the 
belief  that  my  real  bent  was  for  geology." 

My  father's  health  was  not  good  at  Cambridge:  he 
sufifered  much  from  colds,  headaches,  and  other  sedentary 
complaints :  indeed  he  was  so  ill  at  the  time  of  the  Mathe- 
matical Tripos  that  he  did  his  papers  lying  on  a  sofa  in 
the  Senate-house,  a  concession  obtained  by  the  kindness 
of  his  friend  Mr  Francis  Martin,  Bursar  and  afterwards 
Vice-Master  of  Trinity. 

His  principal   friends  while    at   Trinity  were   his   old 

76  CAMBRIDGE   FRIENDS  aet.  19 

schoolfellows,  Westcott,  Lightfoot,  Hutchinson,  Ellis  and 
Wickenden  ;  besides  these  were  Henry  Bradshaw  and 
Arthur  Duke  Coleridge  of  King's,  Arthur  Gordon,  now 
Lord  Stanmore,  George  Cubitt,  now  Lord  Ashcombe, 
Prince  Frederic  of  Schleswig-Holstein  Noer^  who  was  then 
a  Fellow  Commoner  of  Trinity,  and  is  long  since  dead : 
among  the  older  men,  besides  Mr  Martin,  were  E.  M.  Cope, 
James  Atlay,  then  Tutor  of  St  John's  and  afterwards  Bishop 
of  Hereford,  Professor  Sedgwick,  W.  C.  Mathison,  then 
Tutor  of  Trinity,  and  H.  A.  J.  Munro.  My  father's  first 
rooms  in  College  were  attics  up  the  staircase  on  the  north 
side  of  the  Gate  leading  from  the  New  Court  to  the  Bridge 
and  Avenue. 

His  home  letters  from  Cambridge  to  his  mother  are 
mostly  concerned  with  the  smallest  details,  furniture,  food 
and  little  economies. 

The  following  extract  is  from  a  letter  to  his  sister 
Harriet  who  had  consulted  him  as  to  the  structure  and 
arrangements  of  a  Cathedral.  He  gives  an  elaborate 
account,  with  plans  and  diagrams,  and  then  continues, 

Christmas  Night,  1848. 

So    much    for    the    material    church — and    now    what 

think  you  of  the  principles  wherefrom  it  rose — the  Creed  of 
the  visible  Church?  Your  uncles^  will,  I  believe  from  all  I 
know  of  them,  be  above  making  any  attempt  to  proselytise 
you;  but  you  must  be  daily  within  hearing  of  some  expression 
discordant  with  the  feelings  with  which  you  were  accustomed 
to  regard  our  GOD  Incarnate.  Your  present  position  is  what 
St  Paul  calls  "  a  light  trial "  of  your  stedfastness  in  "  the  most 

^  Prince  Frederic  followed  his  father,  the  Prince  of  Noer,  into  exile  in 
1849.  While  young  he  was  largely  concerned  in  the  numberless  intrigues  and 
plots  which  complicated  the  already  sufficiently  tangled  Schleswig-Holstein 
question.  Somewhat  later  Prince  Frederic  abandoned  politics,  took  to 
literature,  married,  dropped  his  princely  style,  and  lived  a  quiet  life  as  Count 
de  Noer,  dying  in  1881. 

-  They  were  Unitarians:  see  p.  78. 


Holy  Faith."  But — "Hold  fast  that  which  thou  hast,  that  no 
man  take  thy  crown."  Pray  fervently  that  the  false  doctrine  you 
unavoidably  hear  may  not  sink  into  your  mind,  that  no  seed  of 
heretical  error  may  be  lodged  there,  to  lie  for  a  time  and  then 
to  ripen.  You  will  not,  I  trust,  have  "forgotten  Jerusalem"  or 
allowed  yourself  to  think  little  or  lightly  of  your  privileges  and 
responsibilities  as  a  member  of  the  Catholic  Church  :  nor  have 
neglected  dear  old  Common  Prayer  when  alone,  and  particularly 
during  this  Advent  month,  when  the  Church's  heart  pours  itself 
forth  in  a  diviner  eloquence  than  at  almost  any  other  time. 
When  Lessons,  Epistles  and  Gospels  are  all  publishing  alike  the 
most  awful  and  the  most  glorious  of  all  the  predictions  that 
concern  the  approaching  end,  and  the  final  glory  of  the  Church 
as  the  favoured  of  the  Lord.  Have  you  been  repeating  the 
deeds  of  Simeon  and  Anna,  watching  till  He  came,  watching 
as  they  watched,  and  watching  where  they  watched — "in  the 
Temple," — the  Church — "praying"?  Now  you  rejoice  because 
He  is  come,  the  Word  made  Flesh — in  the  Celebrations  of  the 
Church — go  on  happily  through  the  years,  with  my  best  prayers 
for  you. 

Believe  me,  yours  lovingly  ever, 

E.  W.  B. 

To  J.  B.  Lightfoot,  on  his  prospects. 

Jan.  22,  1849. 
Mv  DEAR  Joe, 

If  we  do  not  tiow  begin  to  think  of  The  Church  (I 
mean  metaphorically  of  course,  as  representing  our  future  position 
whatever  it  may  be — (there's  an  explanation  !) — )  we  shall  never 
take  any  decided  stand.  I  have  no  idea  of  going  with  circum- 
stances, like  a  feather  on  a  mill-stream.  I  have  not  done  so 
hitherto,  and  my  success  in  spite  of  friends'  opposition,  and 
apparent  lack  of  the  needful,  has  not  been  such  as  to  make 
me  think  the  plan  a  foolish  one.  Had  I  for  the  last  eight  years 
been  content  to  follow  the  apparently  open  path,  instead  of 
pressing  straight  for  the  spire  that  rose  behind  the  thick  woods— I 
might  now  have  had  my  pockets  full  of  money,  at  least  fuller  than 
they  are  now,  and  my  head  full  of  accounts.  I  need  not  tell  you, 
I  think,  that  I  prefer  being  as  I  am  ;  the  same  course  as  that 
from  the  present  as  its  a(f)opfj,r]  would  probably  in  twenty  years 

78  HOME   LETTERS  aet.  19 

leave  me  soft  asleep,  instead  of  energizing  for  the  love  of  God. 
If  the  choice  is  allowed  me,  surely  I  will  choose  with  Mahomet 
and  not  take  my  Paradise  in  this  world. 

I  have  been  thinking  a  good  deal  about  Australia  too — but 
Jerusalem  with  its  English  Bishop,  and  the  East  that  vmst  ere 
long  be  English,  and  the  great  transactions  that  must  yet  take 
place  there,  have  not,  I  think,  an  inferior  claim  at  any  rate. 

Thine,  E.  W.  B. 

To  his  Mother. 

Trinity  College. 

Feb.   15,  1849. 
My  dear  Mother, 

I,  and  everybody  else,  like  my  rooms  very  much; 
they  are  rather  near  the  sky  to  be  sure,  but  I  do  not  know 
whether  there  is  any  very  great  disadvantage  in  that,  except  in  the 
gathering  of  the  clouds  about  them — the  clouds  come  from  the 
chimney-pots  in  this  part  of  the  world;  and  the  rain  is  soft 
and  black,  and  does  not  wet  what  it  falls  upon ;  my  friends  seem 
to  think  the  stairs  no  consideration,  for  I  am  thronged ;  from 
morning  chapel  till  twelve  at  night  my  friends  are  popping  in,  and 
as  my  acquaintance  enlarges  every  day,  I  shall,  I  think,  hold 
levees  that  I  may  get  through  my  business  quickly — if  I  sport  my 
outer  door,  the  knocking  at  it  is  so  incessant  that  I  can  neither 
work  at  my  books  nor — nor — nor — I  don't  very  well  know  what. 

Beheve  me, 

Your  affectionate  Son. 

His  sister  Harriet  told  him  that  she  had  been  teaching 
in  a  Unitarian  Sunday  School  at  Bolton,  where  she  was 
staying  with  her  uncle  ;    he  replies  ; — 

Trinity  College,  Cambridge. 
Feb.  17,  1849. 
My  dear  Sister, 

Dear  Harriet,  it  made  me  jump  to  hear  that  you  were 
teaching  in  the  Sunday  School  at  Bolton.  Can  you  at  all  content 
yourself  with  saying  merely  "Jesus  Christ"  without  some  ex- 
pression of  love  or  worship  in  word  or  deed  ?  "  Hold  fast  what 
thou  hast"  as  I  said  before  "that  no  man  take  thy  Crown."     I 

i849  SIZARSHIP  79 

was  happy  to  read  what  you  said  of  your  feehngs  at  Cathedral 
Service,  but  "what  is  pure  religion  and  undefiled"?  not  feeling 
alone,  though  in  this  world  that  is  the  happiest  part  of  it  often- 
times. "  Do  !  Do  !  Do  !  Be  up  and  doing  " — and  is  the  feeling  of 
love  for  God — so  that  you  would  be  even  a  door-keeper  in  His 
House,  rather  than  be  prosperous  in  sin — is  this  a  constant 
feeling  ?  felt  as  deeply  in  "  the  tents  of  ungodliness "  as  in  the 
"  ports  of  the  Daughter  of  Sion  "  ?  I  am  glad  you  take  all  the 
advice  you  receive  in  such  good  part, — nor,  do  I  doubt,  my  dear 
girl,  that  if  your  noon  and  evening  are  as  the  promise  of  your 
morning,  you  will  be  the  "  excellent  woman  "  that  you  long  to 
be.  One  little  bit  more  of  advice — take  care  of  your  stops  and 
capital  letters,  and  don't  tell  me  as  you  did  in  one  letter,  "that 
there  was  someone  in  the  vestry  on  one  of  the  walls  " — I  have 
had  five  men  at  my  rooms  since  half- past  four  o'clock.  Ellis 
is  here  now — desires  "his  kindest  possible  remembrances"  to 
you — mine  kindest  and  best  to  your  Uncle  and  two  Aunts,  and 
love  to  Howard. 

Ta  Ta!    Dear! 

E.  W.  B. 

To  his   Mother. 

(A  Pindaric  strophe ;  my  father  had  the  strongest 
aversion  to  Pindar,  which  was  never  overcome.) 

Trinity  College,  Cambridge. 
April  28,  1849. 

The  voice  of  fame,  O  most  respected  and  beloved  Mother, 
erred  not — her  tongue,  I  say,  spake  truly,  when  she  blabbed  that 
I  was  made  a  sizar.  Strong  confirmation  at  least  of  her  truth 
is  the  marvellous  sweet  savour  of  an  apple-pie  with  cloves,  and 
soft,  yet  not  too  soft,  and  most  delicately  flavoured  pastry,  that 
yet  lingereth  in  the  corners  and  bye-places  of  my  Cannibal- 
cavern,  and  with  gentle  titillation...well,  what  hath  befallen  me? 
Bereft  of  sense  I  certainly  must  be  to  go  dribbling  on  in  that 
style — no  more. 

Believe  me. 

Your  most  truly  affectionate  Son. 

So  CAMBRIDGE   LETTERS  aet.  19-20 

He    had   been    elected    to   a    full    Sizarship    in    April 

1849;    his    sister    Eleanor,   then    aged    sixteen,   writes  to 

congratulate  him. 

White  Lead  Works. 

April  30,  1849. 
Dearest  Sizar, 

What  a  fine  clever  fellow  you  are,  really  if  you  go  on 
as  you  are,  you  will  soon  be  Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  and 
would  deserve  to  be,  should  you  not?  But  you  certainly  were 
born  under  a  lucky  star. 

I  am  ever  your  affectionate  sister,  &c.,  &c., 

Eleanor  Bowes  Benson. 

To  Ids  Mother. 

I  am  still  happy  here.  It  is  surprising  how  little  self-denial 
I  have  to  practise ;  to  live  in  comfort  is  perhaps  an  incentive  to 
work,  but  I  could  scarcely  be  uncomfortable  if  I  tried.  And 
think  of  George  Herbert,  the  high-born  and  wealthy,  having  "  to 
fast  for  it "  if  he  ventured  on  buying  a  new  book. 

With  most  hearty  love  to  yourself  and  the  "  little  ones," 

Believe  me  your  truly  affectionate  Son, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

The  following  letter  to  J.  F.  Wickenden  shows  how 
earnestly  he  prosecuted  his  liturgical  studies : — 

Sept.  17,  1849. 
My  dear  Fred, 

"  Loe !  I  send  you  herewith,"  as  Howard  would  say, 
two  sets  of  Prayers,  such  as  we  were  talking  of  on  Saturday  night. 
I  hope  you  will  not  look  on  them  as  unworthy  corruptions,  and  so 
on  my  pains  as  ill-spent,  and  "  my  epistle  an  abomination  " ;  but 
rather  as  ye  true  and  primitive  way  of  remembering  the  iinmilitant 
part  of  the  Church  before  God,  so  corrupted  afterwards  by  un- 
warrantable and  singular  appeals  to  ye  persons  themselves,  that  it 
was  offensive  and  dangerous  to  retain  them  or  anything  like  them 
in  our  Church. 

This  is  from  the  Alexandrine  Liturgy  of  St  Basil. 


"Remember,  O  Lord,  all  those  (...of  the  sacerdotal  order  and 
those  of  the  laics...)  who  are  already  at  rest;  Grant  rest  to  their 
souls  in  the  bosom  of  our  Holy  Fathers  Abraham,  Isaac,  and 
Jacob;  gather  them  together  in  a  green  pasture,  and  lead  them 
forth  beside  the  waters  of  comfort  in  a  paradise  far  from  all  grief, 
sorrow,  and  mourning,  in  the  glorious  hght  of  Thy  Saints." 

"  The  Diptychs  of  the  Dead  "  read  here. 

"  Receive  their  souls,  O  Lord,  grant  them  rest,  and  vouchsafe 
them  Thy  heavenly  kingdom.  But  for  us  who  remain  upon 
earth,  keep  us  in  Thy  faith,  and  bring  us  to  Thy  kingdom ;  give 
us  always  Thy  peace,  that  in  this,  as  with  all  other  things.  Thy 
Holy,  Glorious  and  Blessed  Name  may  be  hallowed,  glorified, 
praised,  blessed,  and  sanctified  together  with  Jesus  Christ  and  the 
Holy  Ghost." 

"  Peace  be  with  you  all." 

This  from  the  Liturgy  of  Severus,  Patriarch  of  Antioch. 

"  Give  rest,  O  Lord,  to  the  bodies,  souls  and  spirits  of  all  who 
from  flesh  and  blood  have  made  their  way  to  Thee  the  Lord  of  all 
flesh,  in  the  bosom  of  Abraham,  Isaac  and  Jacob,  in  a  paradise  of 
pleasure,  in  a  place  of  rest,  in  the  tabernacle  of  Thy  saints,  in  the 
company  of  those  who  keep  the  most  solemn  feast,  where  life 
is  perfectly  free  from  trouble,  and  where  they  may  enjoy  the 
firstfruits  of  those  unspeakable  good  things  which  Thou  hast 
promised ;  make  them  worthy  a  full  enjoyment  of  them ;  not 
imputing  to  them  their  sins,  not  entering  into  judgment  with  Thy 
servants,  for  in  Thy  sight  no  man  can  be  justified.  For  our  Lord 
and  God,  Jesus  Christ,  was  the  only  person  who  was  ever  united 
to  a  body  of  flesh,  and  entirely  subdued  all  the  sinful  lusts 
thereof,  so  as  to  leave  no  room  for  them  to  take  hold  of  Him, 
through  Whom  we  also  hope,  etc." 

"So  direct,  O  Lord,  and  prepare  us  in  this  life  for  the 
meeting  of  Thine  only  begotten  Son,  that  when  He  shall  come 
with  the  holy  angels  in  the  Glory  of  Thee  His  Father,  to  gather 
together  His  saints,  we  may  not,  through  the  fondness  we  have  to 
our  passions,  or  the  burthen  of  our  sins  which  we  have  committed, 
be  let  or  hindered  when  His  elect  shall  be  taken  up  to  meet  Him 
in  the  air. 

"  Grant  that  with  them  also  we  may  sing  the  triumphal  hymns, 
and  with  glory  and  praise  say,  '  Blessed  is  He  that  cometh  in  the 
Name  of  the  Lord ' ;  that  in  this,  as  well  as  in  all  other  things. 
Thy  Name  may  be  praised  and  glorified,  etc." 

B.  I.  6 

82  HIS    FUTURE   WIFE  aet.  20 

May  be  I  am  rather  rash  in  sending  you  these  now,  while  I 
am  hot  about  them ;  however  I  have  not  used  them  yet,  nor  do  I 
intend  doing  so  until  I  have  thought  a  good  deal  more  coolly 
about  them  than  at  present.  However  I  want  to  hear  your 
opinion  about  them ;  that  they  are  beautiful  is  beyond  doubt, 
though  there  are  some  expressions  which  we  should  both,  I  fancy, 
agree  to  alter. 

I  hope  your  circle  is  as  well  as  a  few  hours  since  it  was. 

Yours  very  affectionately, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

The  following  letter  describes  his  first  sight  of  his 
future  wife : — 

Saturday,  Oct.  ?  1849. 
Dear  Mother, 

Tell  Charlie  that  a  sweet  little  girl,  our  Cousin 
Minnie,  made  me  quite  ashamed  of  a... little  boy,  our  brother... ; 
for  Minnie  is  only  a  month  or  two  older  than  that  little  boy,  and 
she  reads  a  great  deal,  and  learnt  a  Lay  of  Macaulay's  for  pleasure, 
and  knows  both  Bible  History  and  English  History  well — to  say 
nothing  of  Geography,  and  Writing,  and  Draiuijig — Oh  !  Charlie. 
Moreover  she  passed  a  good  examination  with  me  in  Latin 
Grammar,  to  the  end  of  the  Pronouns. 

Your  affectionate  Son, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

He  became  a  private  pupil  of  Bishop  Westcott's  in 
1849,  ^"d  ^vas  greatly  delighted  with  the  new  friendship 
with  one  whom  he  had  always  admired. 

To  J  lis  Mother. 

Trinity  College,  Cambridge. 
Nov.  10,  1849. 

Time  is  slipping  very  fast  away  towards  another  examina- 
tion, and  I  don't  feel  altogether  idle  certainly,  but  one  seems 
to  get  through  very  little.  I  told  you  that  I  am  reading  with 
Westcott;  well,  it  is  very  delightful,  he  is  so  kind,   so  patient, 

i85o  HIS    SISTERS'   ILLNESS  83 

so  industrious,  so  interested  in  one,  so  clever  and  so  highly 
accomplished,  (you  understand  what  zve  mean  by  accomplish- 
ments, not  dancing  and  flower  painting,)  that  the  very  company  of 
him  does  one  good,  and  his  teaching  is  most  instructive.  He 
is  an  admirable  scholar,  and  has  the  gift  of  imparting  too.  In 
fact  he  does  a  great  deal  to  keep  up  the  reputation  of  the  school. 

In  the  summer  of  1850  a  terrible  domestic  catastrophe 
occurred.  The  house  in  the  Lead  Works  was  in  a  most 
insanitary  condition,  a  fact  of  which  Mrs  Benson  was 
unhappily  unaware :  the  children  were  attacked  by  a  fever 
which  eventually  proved  to  be  typhus.  They  all  suffered, 
but  most  of  all  Harriet  the  eldest,  my  father's  favourite 
sister.  His  mother,  in  her  letters  to  Cambridge,  studiously 
minimised  the  seriousness  of  the  malady,  fearing  it  would 
interrupt  my  father's  work  and  depress  him. 

At  last  it  could  no  longer  be  concealed.  To  her 
anxious  letter  he  replied  : — 

Trinity  College,  Cambridge. 
May  20,  1850. 
My  dear  Mother, 

Your  letter  which  reached  me  by  the  early  post  on 
Friday  very  much  surprised  and  grieved  me.  I  had  no  idea  that 
any  of  you  were  half  so  ill.  I  wrote  off  to  Uncle  Alfred  before 
doing  the  least  work,  and  half  hoped  to  have  heard  from  him 
to-day,  but  cannot  wait  for  another  post.  I  hope  things  are  better 
than  they  were — and  pray  let  me  have  more  frequent  accounts,  if 
it  be  only  a  line  at  a  time. 

Do  you  think  it  could  be  managed  that  instead  of  my  coming 
down  to  you,  you  yourself  should  come  up  here  for  a  week 
and  bring  one  of  those  who  are  under  ten  years  old — (that  would 
be  half  fare  by  the  Railway).  This  place  is  so  beautiful  and  fresh 
now,  that  I  think  it  would  restore  the  health  of  the  most  con- 
firmed invalids.  Pray  think  this  over.  I  am  afraid  I  have  made 
the  first  part  very  complicated,  but  perhaps  you  will  not  grudge 
the  trouble  of  reading  it  over  again ;  and  in  the  mean  time,  God, 
"  who  tempers  the  wind  to  the  shorn  lamb  "  will  have  all  of  you, 
who  are  "  of  more  value  than  many  lambs  "  under  the  protection 


84  HIS   SISTER'S    DEATH  aet.  20 

of  His  good  Providence.  All  afflictions  and  trials  will  be  found 
at  last  to  be  to  our  own  good ;  He  scourgeth  every  son  and 
daughter  that  He  .at  last  receiveth.  The  thoughts  of  you  in  pain 
and  sickness  are  always  with  me,  and  prayers  for  your  restoration 
in  my  heart,  mingled  with  prayers  that  He  will  not  suffer  me 
so  to  abuse  the  health  and  happiness  and  prosperity  that  He  gives 
me  here,  (for  in  all  these,  my  dear  Mother,  I  know  that  you 
rejoice,)  that  it  may  be  necessary  for  Him  to  visit  my  offences  with 
the  rod,  and  my  sin  with  scourges  hereafter.  Yesterday  was 
Communion,  and  be  sure  that  I  mingled  the  names  of  you  all 
with  the  prayers  for  all  the  Communion  of  Saints,  among  the 
numbers  of  "  those  who  are  in  trouble,  sorrow,  need,  sickness,  and 
any  other  adversity,"  and  that  our  Father  will  comfort  and 
succour  you  soon.  And  now,  as  I  should  have  said  formerly 
if  I  had  been  an  old  Roman,  and  as  I  now  say  heartily,  as  I 
am  not,  Edward  W.  Benson  to  his  own  dear  Mother  and 

ALL    hers    WISHETH    HEALTH. 

To  /lis  Mother. 

Trinity  College,  Cambridge. 
May  22,  1850. 
My  dear  Mother, 

I  wish  I  could  say  anything  that  would  really  comfort 
you  all,  but  you  and  the  two  dear  girls  will  comfort  each  other 
best — and  we  must  all  remember  our  true  comfort  is  of  the 
Comforter,  the  Friend  closer  than  any  son  or  brother. 

Believe  me  most  affectionately, 

Your  own  son, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

Harriet  grew  rapidly  worse,  and  died  very  suddenly. 
Lightfoot  was  informed  of  what  had  happened,  hastened 
in  to  break  the  news  to  my  father,  and  found  him  writing 
a  comforting  letter  home,  to  cheer  his  mother  and  sisters. 

Trinity  College,  Cambridge. 
May  29,  1850. 
My  dear  Nell, 

I  have  not  had  a  letter  these  two  days.  My  exami- 
nation is  past  and  the  men  fast  going  down.     I  shall  find  staying 

1850  THE   SON   OF   CONSOLATION  85 

here  quite  unbearable  unless  you  give  me  very  frequent  accounts, 
if  but  a  line  a  day  :  I  shall  imagine  the  very  worst,  and  really  I 
shall  be  coming  down  myself  forthwith  in  spite  of  all  injunctions. 
I  was  rejoiced  that  she  was  a  little  better  on  Sunday,  but  fear  she 
may  be  worse  again — I  wish  I  could  transport  you  all  at  once 
to  this  pleasant  place,  it  is  growing  very  warm  and  all  our  fine 
trees  are  in  full  beauty,  and  the  meadows  brighter  with  flowers 
than  any  I  ever  saw.  A  breath  from  them  would  do  you  good. . . . 
Thus  far  had  I  written  when  Lightfoot  came  in  and  the  strain 
was  changed  for  ever. 

( Written  on  the  remainder  of  the  sheet.) 

May  29,  1850. 
Dearest  Mother,  dearest  Eleanor, 

There  is  no  comfort  in  me,  yet  I  must  needs  try  to 
comfort  you  with  that  which  has  somewhat  comforted  me  even 
already.  David  knew  more  of  sorrow  than  we,  but  his  Psalms 
tell  us  how,  and  how  fully  he  was  comforted,  so  that  they  are  yet 
powerful  to  comfort  others,  ages  after.  Luther  was  so  filled  with 
sorrow  for  "his  beautiful,  his  gentle  daughter,  lovely  and  full 
of  love  "  that  her  image  he  says  haunted  him  day  and  night :  he 
sought  comfort  and  found  it  in  thinking  of  the  death  of  Christ, 
how  He  triumphed  over  death  so  greatly  that  the  deaths  of  all 
believers  ever  since  are  but  as  it  were  a  lesser  triumph. 

And  she  too,  doubt  we  not,  has  even  now  enjoyed  her 
triumph,  even  in  her  weakness  wrestled  with  death  and  found  him 
stingless,  through  the  dear  might  of  Him  Who  loved  her. 

How  may  we  look  back  on  all  her  spent  years  and  thankfully 
remember  how  full  of  grace  and  praise  they  ever  were ;  how  little 
she  displayed  of  common  passions,  how  obedient,  how  thankful 
she  was.  But  not  in  this  is  our  trust,  we  know  that  none  are 
righteous,  none  clean  before  God,  but  as  Christ's  righteousness 
and  purity  is  reckoned  to  them.  And  though  she  had  not  come 
to  an  age  when  religious  feeling  is  very  actively  displayed,  yet  we 
all,  I  think,  saw  tokens  of  God's  work  going  on  within,  the  lesson 
of  Christ's  doctrine  leavening  her  whole  heart :  we  trust  that  He 
hath  so  clothed  her  in  His  robes  that  she  entered  boldly  before 
the  Throne  of  the  Almighty  God.  None  but  the  unwise  and  the 
foolish  take  the  departure  of  the  righteous,  such  as  in  their 
measure  serve  Him,  to  be  misery  :  they  are  taken  away  from  the 

86  HIS    MOTHER'S    DEATH  aet.  20 

evil  to  come ;  if  any  is  in  store  for  us  hereafter,  God  give  us 
whom  He  leaves  to  meet  it,  His  Grace  to  stand  against  it.  As 
yet  we  see  it  not,  may  be  we  shall  not  see  for  many  a  year,  and 
may  be  never  in  this  life,  why  she  is  called.  But  a  reason  there 
is,  and  a  good  one  somewhere — we  shall  feel  well  assured  of  it 
when  the  first  of  our  grief  is  over,  and  we  may  be  happy  to  think 
that  she  is  this  day  in  the  Tabernacles  of  Rest,  safe  and  at 
rest  until  the  day  of  His  coming. 

The  Peace  and  Comfort  of  God  the  Holy  Spirit  be  with  you  : 
so  prays  your  ever  most  loving  Son  and  Brother. 

E.  W.  Benson. 

I  may  even  see  you  before  this  letter  reaches  you  :  pray  show 
it  to  Christopher  and  Emmeline,  for  there  is  not  left  time  for  me 
to  write  to  them.  But  I  will  send  a  simple  little  note  to  Ada  and 

My  father  hurried  off  to  Birmingham  to  find  that 
his  mother,  who  had  nursed  the  children  with  the  utmost 
devotion,  and  worn  out  her  strength  in  so  doing,  had  on 
the  previous  day  laid  out  her  daughter's  body  with  her 
own  hands,  made  all  arrangements  for  the  funeral,  and 
late  at  night  had  gone  in  to  have  a  last  look  at  the  dead 
child:  she  had  then  returned  to  her  own  room,  had  undressed, 
and  retired  to  bed,  and  had  died  in  her  sleep  from  failure 
of  the  heart's  action.  She  was  discovered  dead  and  cold 
on  the  next  morning.  It  was  to  meet  this  ghastly  shock 
that  my  father  arrived,  in  ignorance  that  his  mother  was 
even  unwell. 

He  made  arrangements  for  the  double  funeral,  and  then 
set  himself  to  investigate  his  mother's  affairs.  He  found, 
what  he  had  been  told,  but  seems  not  to  have  properly 
realised,  that  her  entire  income,  except  a  few  hundred 
pounds  which  were  invested,  was  an  annuity.  The  invested 
money  was  nearly  valueless,  and  he  eventually  discovered 
that  a  sum  of  rather  over  ^100  was  all  that  they  had  to 
depend  upon. 

i85o  POVERTY  87 

His  relations  all  came  to  his  aid.  His  half-uncle 
William  Jackson  behaved  with  extraordinary  generosity; 
and  the  orphans  went  ofif  to  various  relations.  Eleanor 
and  Ada  to  the  charge  of  Mrs  William  Sidgwick,  whose 
dead  husband  was  my  grandfather's  first  cousin,  and  had 
been  his  dear  and  intimate  friend.  Mr  Thomas  Baker, 
Mrs  Benson's  elder  brother,  then  a  prosperous  Manchester 
merchant,  offered  to  take  the  youngest  boy,  Charles,  and 
bring  him  up  as  his  heir;  Thomas  Baker  was  a  devoted 
Unitarian,  but  he  did  not  even  stipulate  that  the  boy  should 
be  biought  up  a  Unitarian.  My  father  however  decided  that 
he  ought  not  to  submit  his  brother  to  Unitarian  influences, 
and  declined  the  offer  with  a  spirit  which  at  least  reflected, 
under  the  circumstances,  the  utmost  credit  on  his  attach- 
ment to  the  principles  of  the  Christian  faith. 

MrChristopher  Sidgwick,  of  Skipton,  my  father's  cousin, 
also  gcve  most  generous  help.  He  wrote  to  my  father 
deploriig  that  he  had  spent  his  fortune  on  building  and 
endowing  a  Church  at  Skipton,  explaining  that  when  he 
had  visited  my  grandfather,  E.  W.  Benson,  who  had  been 
his  closest  friend,  on  his  deathbed,  my  grandfather  had 
distinctly  given  him  to  understand  that  he  had  no  worldh' 
anxieties,  as  his  widow  and  family  were  amply  provided 
for :  Christopher  Sidgwick  added  that  he,  like  all  Mrs 
Benson';  relations,  had  imagined  that  her  income  arose 
from  in/ested  money. 

He  vrites  to  the  Bishop  of  Manchester  to  tell  him  of 

the  cat^trophe  that  had  befallen  him  : — 

1850  [June). 
My  jearest  Lord, 

Wickenden  has,  I  find,  been  so  good  as  to  mention 
to  your  Lordship  in  his  letter,  the  heavy  affliction  with  which 
it  has  p eased  God  to  visit  us.  To-day  I  have  been  at  the  last 
scene  ofthis  dreadful  week. 

The  poor  children  are  now  at  the  houses  of  friends,  well  cared 

88  PROSPECTS  aet.  20 

for  at  present,  and  the  future  disposal  of  them  becomes  a  most 
difficult  consideration.  Besides  all  the  great  personal  kindness 
and  the  good  counsels  which  I  have  myself  at  other  times 
received  from  your  Lordship,  the  interest  which  you  also  show 
in  my  poor  sisters  induces  me  again  to  write  to  him  who  is  most 
truly  my  revered  Father  in  God. 

The  idea  of  maintaining  a  separate  establishment  seems  to  me 
almost,  though  not  absolutely,  set  aside  both  by  the  expenses,  and 
also  the  impossibility  of  finding  a  person  to  take  charge  of  it,  in 
whom  the  necessary  qualifications  may  be  looked  for. 

As  regards  the  placing  the  children  with  different  relations — 
the  great  obstacle  is  the  fact  that  my  Uncles  are  all,  save  one 
(who  is  out  of  the  question  from  other  reasons).  Unitarians. 

An  uncle  resident  in  Manchester  has  offered  liberally  tc  take 
my  youngest  brother,  a  child  nearly  eight  years  old — and  nay  be 
one  of  his  sisters — and  bring  him  up  as  his  own  child  foi  some 
years  to  come.  He  undertakes  not  to  instil  into  the  chid  any 
Unitarian  principles,  and  says  that  I  can  freely  exerase  my 
influence  by  visit  or  by  letter,  and  hereafter  decide  on  the  boy's 
school ;  meantime  he  will  have  to  attend  the  Meeting-hoise,  and 
grow  up  with  the  greatest  respect  for  his  uncle  and  auit, — this 
I  say  from  knowledge  of  his  character — and  naturally  "or  their 
opinions  also,  with  all  the  power  of  early  association  fill  upon 
him.  The  question  then  becomes — Is  it  possible  for  1  lad  so 
placed  to  grow  up  a  Churchman?  and,  on  the  other  haid,  is  it 
right  to  reject  the  means  of  maintenance  for  him  which  God  in 
His  providence  lays  before  us  ?  The  offer  is  most  handsome  in 
more  respects  than  one  ;  my  uncle  would  never  have  uixiertaken 
the  trouble  and  anxiety  and  responsibility,  had  he  not  been 
moved  by  very  strong  feelings  of  duty  and  affection. 

This  is  the  main  difficulty  which  has  to  be  met  at  prsent :  in 
fact  the  only  proposition  yet  made :  it  may  be  modified  ty  what  I 
may  hear  from  my  uncle  at  Exeter.  If  so  I  will  at  oice  write 
again ;  but  now,  though  I  am  sure  I  shall  not  want  for  your 
Lordship's  counsel,  and  sympathy  and  prayers, — -I  nust  not 
occupy  too  much  valuable  time. 

Believe  me  ever,  my  dearest  Lord,  I 

Most  faithfully  your  Lordshp's, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

i85o  OFFER   FROM    HIS   UNCLE  89 

Fragment  of  letter  to  Mrs  William  Sidgwick,  his  future 
wife's  mother,  describing  his  mother's  death  : — 

Jicne,  1850. 

In  the  evening  her  eldest  daughter  died  unexpectedly  in  her 
arms,  of  Typhus  fever — she  was  the  very  "  gentle  one,  the  lovely 
and  full  of  love  "  of  Martin  Luther.  My  poor  mother  composed 
herself — and  afterwards  resolutely  refused  to  see  her  darling 
again.  She  retired  late  to  rest,  and  spoke  to  my  two  other  sisters 
as  they  passed  through  her  room  :  as  it  afterward  appeared  she 
rose  about  midnight,  lighted  a  night-lamp,  went  out  and  raised 
the  cloth  to  look  once  more  upon  her  child's  face.  She  returned 
to  her  bed,  lay  down  and  died  sleeping,  with  her  head  upon 
her  hand.     Was  it  not  terrible? 

The  poor  children  who  for  three  months  past  had  been 
suffering  from  violent  influenza  are  all  for  the  present  dispersed 
— and  are  going  soon  to  Manchester  to  stay  for  a  while  with  their 
uncle  Thomas. 

How  they  will  finally  be  disposed  of  I  know  not.  It  seems 
probable  that  little  Charlie  will  be  taken  to  live  with  an  uncle  and 
aunt  who  are  themselves  Unitarians,  but  who  will  not  teach  him 
their  own  creed,  and  will  suffer  him  to  be  sent  to  a  Church 
school.  Hazardous,  certainly,  it  seems  to  me :  but  we  must 
trust  in  God,  take  the  good  things  which  He  sets  before  us, 
and  "pray  Him  to  keep  him  from  the  evil."  Nothing  is  yet 
proposed  about  Eleanor,  Emmehne  or  Ada,  and  we  find  new 
difficulties  as  yet  at  every  turn.  God  be  our  helper.  We  shall 
have,  I  know,  your  sympathy  and  prayers. 

Dearest  love  to  Minnie  from  her  poor  cousin. 

Believe  me,  dearest  Aunt, 

Ever  yours  most  affectionately, 

E.  W.  B. 

From   Thomas  Baker. 

June  23,   1850. 
Mv  DEAR  White, 

I  remark  your  observations  upon  the  inducements 
which  moved  you  to  decline  my  proposal  as  to  Charlie.  I  consider 
that  you  will  hereafter  be  bound  to  provide  for  his  future  as  he 

90  CORRESPONDENCE    WITH    UNCLE        aet.  20 

would  have  been  provided  for  had  he  been  with  me.  The  view  you 
have  taken  of  my  rehgious  opinions  has  caused  me  deep  regret. 
I  had  hoped  that  your  own  good  sense  and  the  conclusions 
you  might  have  drawn  from  your  observations  of  the  characters 
of  the  various  members  of  the  family  who  entertain  opinions 
similar  to  my  own,  would  have  preserved  yo?^  from  such  narrow 
and  debasing  sentiments,  and  me  from  the  reflections  consequent 
upon  them.  As  I  have  been  wrong  in  such  anticipations,  I  do 
not  see  how  you  can  expect  from  us  any  sympathy  in  pursuing  an 
education  which  has  so  far  taught  you  not  to  regard  us  as  friends, 
but  as  a  class  whose  influence,  beyond  a  very  small  range,  is  to  be 
avoided.  I  could  say  very  much  more  on  this  subject,  perhaps  I 
may  sum  it  by  observing  that  I  have  self-respect  and  religious 
principles,  in  both  of  which  there  is  a  duty.  Of  this,  in  my 
several  conversations  with  you,  you  seemed  to  be  unmindful. 

I  remain, 

Affectionately  yours, 

Thomas  Baker. 

My  father  replies  to  the  preceding  letter. 

Mr  Armitage's, 
Aston  Road,  Birmingham. 
My  dear  Uncle, 

I  owe  you  many  thanks  for  the  kindness  you  express 
and  have  shown  towards  the  children,  as  well  as  for  the  uHco?nmon 
candour  with  which  you  tell  me  what  you  think  of  me  and  my 
opinions.  The  invalid  state  of  Eleanor  and  Ada  must  give  my 
Aunt  and  you  even  more  trouble  than  they  would  under  the  best 
circumstances  in  your  very  quiet  home.  So  that  we  ought  to  be, 
and  are  doubly  grateful  to  you. 

And  now  to  reply  to  a  part  of  your  letter  which  has  caused  me 
great  surprise,  great  pain,  and  much  uneasy  reflection  as  to  what 
it  may  forebode. 

"Self-respect  and  religious  principle,"  of  course  I  know  that 
you  have  and  not  in  a  mean  or  moderate  degree. 

If  in  the  course  of  our  conversations  here,  I  violated  or 
offended  the  one  or  the  other,  I  ask  your  pardon  most  sincerely. 
This  I  must  say  in  self-defence,  that  nothing  was  more  remote 
from   my   intentions,    that    I    throughout    exercised   the    utmost 

i85o  ON   UNITARIANISM  91 

caution  in  expressing  myself,  lest  I  should  unawares  run  counter 
to  any  prejudice  or  feeling  on  your  part,  that  no  reply  or  remark 
of  yours  at  the  time  reminded  me  that  I  had  transgressed  just 
bounds,  that  until  the  receipt  of  your  letter  to-day  I  was  altogether 
void  of  any  suspicion  that  I  could  have  done  so. 

At  the  same  time  I  lay  claim  to  a  resemblance  to  yourself  in 
both  those  features.  Whether  the  former  is  likely  to  be  uprooted 
or  fostered  by  an  upbraiding  of  my  "low  and  debasing  sentiments" 
by  one  whom  I  am  bound  by  every  tie  to  respect,  whom  I  always 
have  respected,  I  will  not  in  the  present  case  arrogate  to  myself  a 
right  to  decide. 

And  as  for  the  other  of  those  two — my  "religious  principles" — 
it  is  not  a  thing  of  tender  feelings,  warm  comforting  notions, 
unpruned  prejudices,  and  lightly  considered  opinions,  but  it 
consists  of  full  and  perfect  convictions,  absolute  belief,  rules 
which  regulate  my  life  (so  far  as  I  am  able  to  conform  it  to 
them)  and  tests  by  which  I  believe  myself  bound  to  try  every 
question,  the  greatest  and  the  least. 

Permit  me  once  for  all  to  state — tho'  well  known  to  you — 
those  points  of  Church  doctrine  and  Church  practice  which  seem 
to  me  to  bear  upon  the  matter  of  my  youngest  brother. 

Besides  the  Eternal  Father  Whom  you  worship  with  us,  I, 
according  to  the  unchanging  Creed  of  the  Catholic  Church, 
believe  that  there  is  in  the  Godhead  a  second  Person,  His 
Eternal  Son,  and  a  Third  Person,  the  Holy  Ghost :  that  the 
second  of  These  having  assumed  on  earth,  and  now  retaining  in 
heaven  a  human  existence  in  addition  to  His  Divine,  and  having 
here  done  certain  acts  affecting  our  eternal  state,  is  entitled  to  a 
distinct  and  peculiar  worship. 

Before  Him  I  believe  that  I  shall,  soul  and  body,  stand  :  the 
natural  relation  between  Him  and  myself  will  then  prompt  the 
question  "If  I  be  God,  where  is  Mine  honour?"  it  having  been 
my  bounden  duty  in  this  life  to  do  everything  I  could  to  promote 
His  Glory.  How  would  confusion  cover  me  remembering 
that  I  had  withdrawn  one  of  His  creatures,  and  that  one  given 
by  Him  to  be  my  brother,  from  the  knowledge  and  service  of 
Him  as  God  and  Lord,  and  from  the  worship  of  the  Adorable 
Trinity  ? 

These  are  considerations^and  whither  shall  I  look  for 
weightier — which  would  press  hard  on  me  as  a  layman.  But 
now — (to  say  nothing  of  private  devotions,   and  all  that  those 

92  CHURCH    PRINCIPLES  aet.  20 

words  imply) — I  do  night  and  morning  as  a  Member  of  my 
College,  I  shall  constantly  hereafter  as  a  Priest  in  the  English 
Church,  if  God  will,  several  times  in  every  public  Service,  proclaim 
"  Glory  to  the  Father,  and  to  the  Son,  and  to  the  Holy  Ghost," 
I  shall  offer  humble  prayers  on  my  own  behalf  and  on  behalf  of 
the  Church  at  large,  to  my  Redeemer :  I  shall  conclude  every 
Service,  every  discourse,  with  ascriptions  of  praise  to  Him  with 
the  Father  and  the  Holy  Ghost — with  what  conscience  or  with 
what  countenance  if  memory  should  ever  suggest  that  in  one 
person's  case,  and  his  the  dearest  that  could  be,  I  had  robbed 
those  Divine  Persons  of  the  worship  and  the  praise  that  should 
have  proceeded  from  his  heart,  his  mind,  his  lips,  his  whole 
life  ?  Whom  could  you  more  rightly  brand  as  hypocrite  than  him 
whose  professions  should  have  been  so  loud,  whose  acts  so  discre- 
pant ? 

This  is  a  very  serious  matter ;  and  I  hope  you  will  not  think 
bitterly  either  of  the  young  man's  presumption,  or  the  young 
Churchman's  bigotry.  Bigot  (so-called)  thus  far,  a  conscientious 
Catholic  must  ever  be. 

On  other  questions  (conversation)  I  do  not  venture  to  pro- 
nounce ;  I  cannot  and  dare  not  say,  that  the  faith  an  Unitarian 
has  in  Christ  is  insufficient  for  salvation.  That  those  opinions 
need  not  affect  a  man's  regard  to  every  call  of  natural  duty, 
his  compassion,  his  benevolence,  and  other  the  moral  duties,  is 
manifest  enough  both  in  yourself,  and  in  many  others  that  I  have 
known.  But  you  always,  I  believe,  have  stood  and  stand  on  a 
very  different  ground  to  Churchmen  in  this  matter ;  that  it  is  of 
little  moment  what  a  man's  creed  is  provided  his  morality  is  good, 
and  that  therefore  none  would  have  to  answer  for  the  creeds  they 
taught,  provided  they  taught  good  morality.  But  it  is  so  obvious 
that  the  Churchman  cannot  so  think,  that  it  causes  me  not  only 
great  pain  (as  you  will  readily  conceive)  but  moreover  great  surprise 
to  find  that  you  so  little  allow  for  the  grounds  and  principles  of 
duty  which  must  be  mine. 

Had  I  acted  with  a  view  to  anything  but  what  I  believed  to 
be  my  duty,  surely  the  mere  expense  which  the  boy  must  hereafter 
necessarily  become  to  me  would  have  deterred  me.  For  be  assured 
that  you  open  no  new  light  upon  me,  in  telling  me  how  heavy  are 
the  claims  which  he  henceforth  has  on  me,  in  requital  for  those 
advantages  which  I  have  deprived  him  of,  while  yet  too  young  to 
exercise  his  own  judgment. 


How  can  you  accuse  me  of  wishing  to  "  confine  your  (i.e. 
Unitarian)  influence  to  so  narrow  a  circle"?  As  men  of  sound 
reason,  of  cultivation,  of  civil  importance,  as  members  of  Society 
and  of  the  common-wealth,  you  claim,  and  with  as  much  right  as 
any,  your  proper  influence! — and  I  (so  far  as  you  will  give  me 
credit  for  reasonable  opinions)  would  not  even  in  thought  diminish 
it.  But  as  religions  teachers — there  I  must  decline  to  submit  to 
your  influence  those  whom  I  can  withhold.  It  stands  to  reason 
that  I  must — and  is  this  the  narrower  or  the  wider  sphere  ? 

Neither  can  I  see  how  this  should  destroy  "our  sympathy 
as  friends."  Sympathy  certainly  cannot  exist  where  there  is  no 
common  ground,  but  I  am  not  aware  that  there  is  any  point 
but  this  of  religious  opinion  where  we  do  not  occupy  common 
ground — on  every  other  true  and  happy  sympathies  i)iay  flourish, 
and  why  not  in  this  case  ? 

From  an  expression  in  your  letter  I  fear  you  may  regret  the 
help  you  have  hitherto  afforded  me  in  my  education — whether 
indirectly,  as  by  enabling  my  mother  to  maintain  me,  or  directly, 
as  in  my  last  term.  I  would  there  were  any  proper  method 
whereby  I  might  alleviate  that  regret — if  such  exist.  For  my 
own  part  I  thank  you  very  heartily,  and  shall  make  it  my  constant 
endeavour  to  prove  the  seed  to  have  been  not  injudiciously  sown, 
and  the  kindness  not  misplaced. 

And  one  word  more — if  any  syllable  I  have  written  wounds 
your  feelings  as  an  Unitarian  I  am  sorry  again,  and  I  pray  you 
to  tell  me  of  my  fault :  I  have  reviewed  my  letter  again  in  vain  in 
search  of  any  such  expression.  My  belief,  as  I  have  stated  it,  of 
course  you  think  erroneous ;  but  I  do  think  the  statement  ought 
not  to  /m?-t  you :  for  if  conscientious  adherence  to  distinct  views 
is  to  affect  everyone,  then  must  either  all  sects  be  at  open  war, 
(which  I  for  one  do  not  think  desirable,)  or  else  such  conscienti- 
ousness is  rarely  to  be  met  with,  which  I  for  one  should  be  most 
loth  to  believe. 

With  my  openness  and  freedom  you  will  not,  I  trust,  be 
displeased  :  it  proceeds  from  my  sincere  wish  to  vindicate  my 
conduct  in  your  eyes,  and  my  confidence  that  it  admits  of 

Most  affectionately  yours, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

94  RETURN   TO   CAMBRIDGE  aet.  20 

J.  B.  Lightfoot  to  J.   T.  Pearse. 

Trinity  College. 

July  is/,  1850. 
My  dear  Pearse, 

Have  you  heard  from  Benson  ?  Hutchinson  had  a 
short  note  the  other  day  from  him.  He  wrote  in  a  despairing 
tone,  saying  that  the  plans  which  gave  the  best  promise  are  all 
going  wrong.  I  feel  heartily  ashamed  of  myself  when  I  think 
how  helpless  and  totally  incapable  I  should  be  were  I  situated  as 
he  is :  and  yet  he  is  struggling  boldly,  and  we  may  well  hope 
successfully  against  all  his  troubles.  We  need  not,  as  you  say, 
fear  for  him,  though  were  he  dependent  only  on  himself,  and  did 
not  place  his  reliance  elsewhere,  there  would  indeed  be  cause  for 

Yours  ever  faithfully, 

J.    B.    Lightfoot. 

After  a  few  terrible  weeks  my  father  returned  to 
Cambridge.  As  he  entered  the  Great  Court,  looking  and 
feeling  very  desolate,  Mr  Martin,  the  Bursar,  whom  he 
only  slightly  knew,  met  him  and  asked  him  to  come  to 
his  rooms:  from  that  time  dated  a  warm  friendship  be- 
tween the  two.  Mr  Martin,  a  childless  man  of  an  intensely 
affectionate  nature,  became  devotedly  attached  to  my 
father,  and  treated  him  for  years  as  a  favourite  son.  But 
his  affection  was  similarly  given  to  my  father's  brothers 
and  sisters,  to  the  expenses  of  whose  education  he  largely 
contributed,  and  to  whom  he  eventually  left  a  large  pro- 
portion of  his  fortune.  I  can  well  remember  Mr  Martin,  a 
clean-shaved  clear-skinned  old  gentleman,  very  precisely 
dressed,  with  high  collars  scraping  his  parchment-like 
cheeks,  large  grey  eyes,  and  a  fierce  gruff  manner  which 
was  to  a  child  ineffably  disconcerting.  My  eldest  brother 
was  named  after  him.  "  Uncle  "  Martin's  visits  were  more 
feared  than  liked  by  us  as  children;  but  the  letters  from 
him  to    my  father,  which  my  father  tenderly  preserved, 

i85o  FRANCIS   MARTIN  95 

testify  to  a  most  absorbing  and  yet  wise  affection  which 
never  hesitated  to  give  the  most  unpalatable  advice  in 
trenchant  terms,  yet  seasoned  by  the  most  paternal  de- 
votion. Mr  Martin  was  an  earnest  Christian — "  Ministre 
de  I'Evangile "  as  he  used  to  write  after  his  name  in  the 
visitors'  books  of  foreign  hotels.  He  was  a  just,  eccentric 
and  generous  man  who  concealed  his  native  tenderness  of 
heart  under  the  most  grotesque  gruffness  both  of  voice 
and  manner.  He  was  Bursar  and  afterwards  Vice-Master 
of  Trinity — a  man  of  ability,  having  taken  high  honours 
both  in  classics  and  mathematics ;  his  conversation  had  no 
great  suggestiveness,  but  he  could  be  pithy  and  shrewd. 
After  an  election  to  Fellowships,  a  heated  discussion  was 
proceeding  in  the  Combination  Room  about  the  merit  of 
certain  disappointed  candidates,  and  Martin  as  one  of  the 
Electors  was  asked  how  they  came  to  choose  one  candidate 
in  preference  to  others  that  were  not  elected — "  Well,"  said 
Martin  with  a  grim  smile,  "  the  fact  is  we  were  biassed  by 
the  papers." 

It  was  understood  that  he  was  really  the  dominant 
influence  in  the  College  for  many  years.  Whewell,  the 
Master,  was  probably  unconscious  of  this,  and  would 
certainly  have  denied  it;  but  it  was  undoubtedly  true. 
When  Whewell  received  the  first  intimation  that  the 
University  Commissioners  were  going  to  hold  an  enquiry 
into  the  arrangements  of  Trinity,  he  called  a  hasty  meeting 
of  Fellows.  Whewell  was  not  averse  to  reform,  but  his 
practical  wisdom  was  not  very  great.  Martin  was  absent 
from  the  meeting ;  under  the  direction  of  Whewell  the 
Fellows  present  drew  up  a  paper  of  suggestions  to  be  laid 
before  the  Commissioners.  When  Martin  returned  he  was 
informed  of  this,  and  went  off  at  once  to  have  an  interview 
with  Whewell :  the  interview  was  short  but  decisive : 
nothing  more  was  ever  heard  of  the  paper  of  suggestions. 

96  CAMBRIDGE    DIARY  aet.  20-21 

He  died  in  his  rooms  at  Trinity,  on  the  Eve  of  Ascension 
Day,  1868. 

Mr  Martin  by  timely  advances  set  all  my  father's 
affairs  on  a  business  footing,  and  from  that  time  adversity 
never  came  near  him  in  the  guise  of  poverty. 

The  following  short  extracts  from  the  Diary  of  1850 
are  of  interest: 

Jan.  24th.  Little  thought  Harriet  and  I  at  our  parting  kiss 
this  night  that  it  was  the  last.  Little  my  mother  and  I,  when  so 
early  the  next  morning  I  would  not  let  her  accompany  my  gloomy 
walk  to  the  Railway  ! 

March  22,rd.  The  strange  light  on  the  old  court  after 

April  ph.  Low  Sunday.  Westminster  Abbey.  Chr.  Words- 
worth preached. 

April  i2,th.     Discipulus  juratus  et  admissus. 

May  2(^th.  My  beautiful,  my  gentle  sister  has  entered  into 
the  Tabernacles  of  rest 

May  T,ot/i.  Going  home  I  learnt  that  my  mother  followed  her 
through  the  dark  valley,  not  but  a  pace  or  two  behind. 

June  2,fd.     O  most  Mighty.     O  most  Merciful. 

Mon.July  islh.     Dream  of  Harriet  covered  with  stars. 

Tues.  July  i6th.     Dream  of  H.  in  the  great  Couch. 

Fri.  Aug.  16th.  Yesterday  and  to-day  much  haunted  by 
images  of  my  mother  and  sister.     Pray  God  they  leave  me  not. 

Sunday,  Sep.  22nd.  Canterbury.  Cathedral  at  Evensong. 
(Staying  at  St  Augustine's.) 

Oct.  '^oth,  1850.  In  this  week  the  Bull  published  creating 
Cardinal  Archbishop  of  Westminster',  and  the  Popish  Prelates 
of  England. 

Oct.  141/1.  Harcourt  declaimed  in  Hall,  on  the  principles  of 
Statesmanship,  describing  Sir  R.  Peel's"  character  as  a  model. 
The  Master  had  forbidden  this,  and  his  navie  was  therefore  not 
mentioned  in  the  declamation. 

Dec.  24th.     Finished  Hesiod's  strange  lists  of  Days  of  good 

^  Wiseman. 

^  Sir  R.  Peel  throM"n  from  his  horse  on  Constitution  Hill,  and  died 
July  2,   1850. 

1850-1851  PRINCE   FREDERIC  97 

and  bad  luck,  in  time  to  hear  the  Cathedral  (Lichfield)  Bells  ring 
in  the  Day  of  Days  that  has  destroyed  them  all.  "  Afiiavit  spiritu 
et  dissipantur." 

Dec.  26th.  How  well  she  looked  that  night  in  body  and 
mind — her  bright  colour,  her  thick  clustering  brown  hair,  her 
merry  voice,  her  bright  glancing  eyes  as  she  looked  up  from  her 
work  now  and  then.  Oh  dearer  than  wife  will  ever  be!  How- 
little  I  thought  that  you  so  soon  were  going  away  somewhere. 
May  I  dream  of  you  to-night !  God  be  gracious  unto  thee  my 

May  iz^h.  It  seems  quite  absurd  that  I  should  have  so  little 
to  say  to  myself  but  stories  about  F.  (Prince  Frederic)  but  one  day 
is  so  like  another  that  really  his  original  ways  and  doings  are  all 
that  break  them  up — and  if  I  live  to  the  years  of  a  crow  I  think 
that  I  shall  never  have  so  interesting  a  companion ; — To-day  he 
went  to  ask  our  Apollo,  Thompson  the  Statuesque  and  Magnificent, 
for  an  absit  to  visit  his  friend  Urquhart.  It  was  granted  and 
Thompson  took  occasion  to  ask — "  Whom  of  the  Society  do  you 
particularly  like,  Prince  Frederic?" — "I  do  not  like  the  society  of 
de  Athenaeum — for  it  is  Sodom  and  Gomorrha."  The  Statue  was 
for  a  moment  surprised  out  of  its  attitude.  The  man  went  on — 
"Excuse  so  strong  an  expression,  but  it  is  through  my  want  of 
English — I  am  unable  to  stay  to  weigh  my  words."  "No  occasion 
to  apologise — no  occasion — none  whatever — But  whom  do  you 
particularly  likeV  "I  like  dose  dat  have  a  head  and  dose  dat 
have  a  heart."  The  Statue  asked  again  "  Are  there  not  some 
men  among  the  Fellows  whose  intimacy  you  cultivate?"  "The 
Fellows  ?  They  are  giants  of  learning— and  I  am  a  pigmy  w-orm 
in  their  presence — I  wriggle  in  the  dust,  and  they  crush  and 
crumble  me  in  the  dust.  They  are  so  Sublime  and  so  Magni- 
ficent— Gute  Marning,  Sare." — !!! 

My  father  used  to  tell  me  another  amusing  story  about 
Prince  Frederic  :  a  pushing  undergraduate  called  on  him 
without  an  introduction,  shook  hands,  sat  down  and  made 
himself  at  home  :  the  Prince  returned  monosyllabic  replies, 
and  finally,  impatient  of  his  company,  asked  if  he  had 
called  for  any  particular  purpose  :  "  Oh  no,  just  thought  I 
would  look  in,  you  know."  Prince  Frederic,  who  was  a 
tall  strong  fellow,  rose  to  his  feet,  and  said  :  "  Sir,  there  are 
B.  I.  7 

98  PSYCHICA  AET.  21-22 

two  ways  of  leaving  this  room — by  the  door  or  by  the 
window  "  :  (with  a  magnificent  gesture)  "  choose  which  you 
prefer."     The  caller  preferred  the  door,  and  without  delay. 

Among  my  father's  diversions  at  Cambridge  was  the 
foundation  of  a  "  Ghost "  Society,  the  forerunner  of  the 
Psychical  Society,  for  the  investigation  of  the  supernatural. 
Lightfoot,  Westcott  and  Hort  were  among  the  members. 

He  was  then,  as  always,  more  interested  in  psychical 
phenoemna  than  he  cared  to  admit. 

Among  his  earlier  papers  I  find  a  long  account  of 
a  singular  dream  he  had  at  Cambridge,  that  he  was  sus- 
pected of  complicity  in  the  murder,  apparently,  of  Prince 
Lee,  tried,  condemned  and  executed.  The  narrative,  which 
is  long,  and  told  with  great  minuteness  and  all  manner  of 
whimsical  details,  contains  the  following  curious  passage  : — 

When  I  was  in  bed  that  night  Lightfoot  came  into  the 
room.  There  was  only  a  glimmering  of  light,  so  that  I  could 
scarcely  see  him,  but  he  shook  hands  with  me,  and  I  assured 
him  again  and  again  that  I  was  wholly  innocent — and  he  believed 
me.  I  then  begged  him  to  go  to  the  Master,  if  my  innocence 
ever  came  to  be  established,  as  I  felt  confident  it  would  be,  and 
represent  it  to  him  as  the  last  dying  wish  of  one  who  had  died 
so  young  and  innocently,  that  he  would  allow  a  small  tablet  to  be 
put  up  in  the  ante-chapel  "  in  an  obscure  place,"  I  said,  "  no,  I 
don't  mean  obscure,  but  lower  down  than  the  busts,  you  know — 
however,  I  don't  want  to  be  thought  to  pretend  humility — you 
know  what  I  mean."  I  began  to  feel  my  wits  wandering  again, 
as  they  did  whenever  I  tried  to  think,  so  I  made  haste,  "  Let  there 
be  on  the  tablet  these  words — '/«  memory  of  Edward  White 
Benson,  a  scholar  of  this  college^  who  was  hanged — oh,  that  will  not 
do — what  must  it  be  ? — perished — who  perished  innocently  ofi  a 
charge  of  murder^:  and,  Lightfoot,  if  ever  you  are  Archbishop  of 
Canterbury,  put  up  a  pillar  to  my  memory  on  the  path  up  to 
Coton',  where  Lee  was  murdered — I  should  have  been  Archbishop 
of  Canterbury  if  I  had  lived,  you  know."  So  far  I  remember 
what  my  words  were,  and  then  I  thought  I  should  get  light-headed 

1  A  village  near  Cambridge. 

1851-1852  RELIGIOUS   TENDENCIES  99 

if  I  went  on  talking — so  Lightfoot  went  away.  Presently  I  began 
to  think  whether  there  was  not  a  place  apart  for  the  souls  of  those 
who  were  unjustly  executed,  along  with  the  souls  of  infants.  This 
was  worse  than  anything  yet — however  I  began  to  think  it  was 
only  a  line  of  Virgil,  and  that  it  was  not  so  in  the  Kingdom  of 
Christ — so  I  felt  comforted,  and  of  sound  mind  again,  and  then 
fell  asleep, 

I  do  not  find  that  my  father  took  any  particular 
interest  while  at  Cambridge  in  politics.  He  was  never 
a  politician  except  as  a  matter  of  duty.  He  seldom  read 
the  newspapers  much  until  he  became  a  Bishop,  and  then 
without  zest.  What  attracted  him  was  the  Old  World, 
its  traditions,  antiquity,  history,  and  I  think  he  was  more 
interested  in  modern  movements  from  their  resemblance 
to  older  tendencies  than  vice  versa.  He  was  at  this  date 
considered  a  decided  High  Churchman  in  matters  of  ritual, 
and  his  grandmother,  Mrs  Stephen  Jackson,  with  whom  he 
used  to  stay  at  Lichfield,  thought  him  dangerously  fond  of 
frequenting  the  daily  Cathedral  Services.  At  the  same 
time  he  combined  with  this  a  considerable  breadth  of  view, 
and  at  a  rather  later  date  was  supposed  to  have  leanings 
to  Latitudinarianism.  I  do  not  suppose  that  a  clerical 
household  ever  grew  up  in  more  complete  ignorance  of 
ecclesiastical  party  differences  than  we  as  children  did. 
He  always  attended  the  Chapel  Services  at  Trinity  with 
great  regularity,  and  seldom  failed  to  say  the  Canonical 
Hours  in  his  rooms,  alone  or  with  some  congenial  friend. 
It  is  curious  that  in  spite  of  this  he  never  got  the  Psalms 
really  by  heart :  many  times  has  he  introduced  confusion 
into  the  Chapel  Service  at  Lambeth  and  Addington  when 
saying  the  Psalms  without  his  book,  by  going  off  on  a 
wrong  tack  in  his  resonant  voice,  leaving  a  courteous 
chaplain  in  doubt  as  to  how  to  correct  his  Metropolitan. 
I  do  not  recollect  his  ever  saying  anything  but  a  fervent 
"  Amen "  in  the  Litany  at  the  suffrage  "  O    Lord,  arise, 


loo  LITURGICAL   TASTES  aet.  21 

help  us  and  deliver  us  for  Thy  name's  sake."  And  yet 
he  had  a  thoroughly  liturgical  mind  :  I  do  not  think  that 
any  hours  were  ever  so  happy  as  those  spent  in  Church. 
Indeed  it  used  to  be  difficult  in  later  days  to  restrain  him 
from  lengthening  the  daily  Service  in  the  private  Chapel 
to  an  extent  which  was  ill-suited  to  the  exigencies  of  a 
busy  household.  He  used  often  to  state  that  he  intended 
for  the  future  to  say  Sext  in  the  Chapel ;  I  am  not  sure 
that  he  carried  this  out,  but  I  am  sure  that  he  seldom  had 
a  companion.  The  inconvenience  of  a  liturgical  mind  is 
that  it  requires  the  active  concert  and  corporeal  presence 
of  so  many  like-minded  persons  in  order  to  receive  full 
satisfaction :  and  it  is  very  difficult  to  harmonise  this  with 
the  overwhelming  daily  duties  of  a  large  and  hard-worked 

One  of  the  few  prizes  that  he  won  at  Cambridge  was 
a  silver  cup  for  an  English  declamation,  by  a  graceful 
speech  on  the  "  Praise  of  George  Herbert." 

It  was  delivered  in  the  Hall  of  Trinity  College  on 
Commemoration  Day,  185 1. 

I  give  a  few  extracts  from  this  oration,  as  specimens  of 
his  early  style  ;  speaking  of  the  Puritans,  he  writes : 

" As  their  triumphs  proceeded,  their  extravagances 

reached  a  wilder  height  than  in  quieter  times  can  easily 
be  credited.  There  was  no  man  so  robust  as  to  escape  the 
contagion.  If  his  heart  did  not  burn  with  the  common 
enthusiasm,  he  had  at  least  the  trick  of  it  upon  his  tongue. 
The  shrewdest  statesman  was  not  ashamed  to  urge  some 
public  measure  by  the  recital  of  his  private  devotions,  and 
of  the  whispers  that  had  answered  them.  The  sternest 
soldier,  on  the  worst  of  missions,  prayed  thrice  before  he 
executed  it.  High  or  low,  in  the  council  and  in  the 
barrack,  in  the  court  and  in  the  ale-house,  religion  was 
on   all   tongues,   and   wore   all   fantastic   guises,   whether 

i85i  THE   PRAISE   OF   GEORGE   HERBERT  loi 

obtrusively  paraded  in  commissions  from  the  High  Court 
of  Parliament,  or  put  to  shame  in  the  grotesque  names 
which  colonels  and  captains  compounded  for  themselves 
out  of  whole  texts  of  Scripture." 

Of  the  writings  of  George  Herbert,  he  says  that  only 
the  initiated  few  are  likely  to  take  pleasure  in  them ;  he 
goes  on : 

"  Nay,  Coleridge  narrows  yet  more  the  circle  of  his 
true  admirers  ;  '  a  cultivated  judgment,  a  classical  taste, 
a  poetic  sensibility/  are  not  enough,  he  implies,  to  lead 
us  into  the  recesses  of  the  Temple.  'The  reader  must  be 
a  Christian,  both  a  zealous  and  an  orthodox,  a  devout  and 
a  devotional  Christian.  But  even  this  will  not  quite 
suffice.  He  must  be  an  affectionate  and  dutiful  child  of 
the  Church,  and  from  habit,  conviction,  and  a  consti- 
tutional disposition  to  ceremoniousness  in  piety  as  in 
manners,  find  her  forms  and  ordinances  aids  of  religion, 
not  sources  of  formality ;  for  religion  is  the  element  in 
which  he  lives,  and  the  region  in  which  he  moves.' 

"  Such  is  George  Herbert's  chief  work.  But  the  man 
himself  has  been  far  more  to  Englishmen,  to  scholars,  and 
to  priests,  than  his  work  has  been :  far  more  deserving  too 
of  admiration  and  imitation  than  many  weaklings  whom 
late  years  have  seen  held  up  to  us  for  examples.  For  he 
was  not  the  mere  muser  or  devout  sentimentalist,  but  a 
diligent  and  successful  student,  and  a  most  active  and 
prosperous  clergyman." 

The  oration  thus  concludes  : 

"  To  all  Englishmen  he  has  left  a  good  inheritance 
in  '  that  harmony  of  sacred  passions '  of  which  we  cannot 
speak  more  particularly,  for  it  is  for  the  heart's  own 
bitterness  and  joy ;  we  need  but  remember  how  Coleridge 
even  spoke  of  its  external  dress,  how  he  contrasted   the 

102  DEGREE  AET.  20-2  2 

trivial  thoughts  conveyed  in  enigmatic  language  of  many 
of  our  later  poets  with  the  weight  and  number  of  the 
thoughts,  and  the  pure  manly  unaffected  diction  of  the 
Temple.  He  has  left  them  a  good  inheritance  in  that 
bright  example  of  which  our  villages  and  churches  shall 
long  reap  the  fruits ;  in  that  fair  life  which  gleams  forth 
from  among  the  dark  memoirs  of  the  time,  among  crooked 
or  fanatical  politicians,  among  bold,  bad  generals,  among 
weak  yet  artful  churchmen,  like  the  poet's  bough  of  golden 
leaves  and  fruit,  glistening  through  the  gloomy  forest  of 

"  To  us  peculiarly  belongs  the  pride  that  we  count  him 
among  our  own  worthies,  and  the  pleasure  of  contemplating 
his  gentle  studious  life  in  this  place,  and  recalling  how  his 
graceful  person  and  noble  bearing,  his  sweet  voice,  his 
quick  quaint  wit,  were  the  ornament  of  these  our  tables." 

Mr  Arthur  Coleridge  tells  me  that  Dr  Whewell  the 
then  Master  of  Trinity  expressed  his  admiration  of  this 
oration  in  the  most  unqualified  terms  \ 

My  father  was  also  Members'  Prizeman  for  a  Latin 
Essay.  He  never  won  a  University  Scholarship  or  a 
Browne  Medal.  Indeed  I  believe  that  his  scholarship  was 
always  of  an  eclectic  type,  and  bore  too  strongly  the 
impress  of  his  own  vivid  tastes  and  prejudices.  He  was 
a  writer  of  beautiful  Latin  verses,  but  his  Greek  compo- 
sition was  seldom  quite  first-rate.  He  remained  to  the  end 
strangely  ignorant  of  accents,  which  he  thought  frivolous. 
Eventually  he  came  out  a  Senior  Optime  in  Mathematics 
(in  spite  of  tt);  Eighth  Classic  in  the  Classical  Tripos — a 
bitter  disappointment — and  Senior  Chancellor's  Medallist, 
which  atoned  for  all  his  disappointments. 

'  "24  Jan.  1852.  At  the  suggestion  of  the  Master.. .a  window  to  com- 
memorate George  Herbert,  notice  of  whom  had  lately  been  brought  before  the 
College,  by  Mr  E.  W.  Benson's  English  Speech  on  Commemoration  Day." 
{Architectural  History  of  Cainbridge,  Willis  and  Clark.) 

1S50-1S52  RELIGIOUS   FEELING  103 

Mr  Arthur  Coleridge  writes : 

Two  men  in  your  father's  undergraduate  days  I  beheve 
stimulated  him  and  the  more  thoughtful  of  his  companions  to 
a  more  than  ordinary  appreciation  of  the  noblest  types  of  clergy 
in  a  former  age  and  in  our  own.  Professor  Blunt  in  the  Lecture 
room,  and  Harvey  Goodwin  in  the  pulpit,  exercised  an  influence 
that  reached  far  beyond  the  limits  of  the  University ;  that  is  the 
body  of  actual  undergraduates  to  whom  the  lectures  and  sermons 
were  delivered.  I  remember  seeing  elderly  London  clergymen 
appearing  in  Blunt's  Lecture  room,  delighted  to  renew  their  youth 
and  to  take  fresh  notes  of  addresses  which  they  had  heard  in  their 
College  days.  Blunt  had  been  Curate  at  Hodnet  to  Bishop 
Heber,  and  like  that  eminent  man  had  steeped  his  mind  in  the 
wisdom  of  early  English  divines ;  but  it  was  in  dealing  with  the 
homelier  scenes  and  practical  life  of  the  Parish  Priest  that  our 
Professor's  teaching  was  most  forcible.  His  simplicity  of  life  and 
unconscious  sway  over  all  Cambridge  from  the  highest  to  the 
lowest  greatly  impressed  your  father  and  his  famous  friends  at 
Trinity,  Lightfoot  and  the  present  Bishop  of  Durham. 

The  Archbishop's  presence  at  dear  Bradshaw's  funeral  in 
King's  College  was  a  comfort  to  me ;  until  he  pronounced  the 
final  Blessing  in  the  dignified  manner  so  becoming  to  his  high 
office,  I  felt  I  was  by  the  side  of  a  brother  mourner  baring  his 
head  in  a  common  woe,  penetrated  by  the  same  sense  of  bereave- 
ment. It  was  on  the  ground  of  a  close  intimacy  with  Bradshaw 
that  your  father  and  I  first  became  friends.  Even  when  the  care 
of  all  the  Churches  came  upon  him,  and  the  old  familiarity 
became  impossible,  I  still  loved  to  steal  quietly  into  London 
Churches,  enjoy  the  sight  of  his  dear  face,  and  hear  the  teaching 
which  I  had  learned  to  reverence. 

My  father's  state  of  mind  and  belief  at  Cambridge  is 
very  clearly  portrayed  in  his  diary,  which  for  the  year  185 1 
is  full  and  precise.  I  do  not  trace  the  smallest  allusion  to 
anything  of  the  nature  of  religious  doubt.  I  do  not  be- 
lieve such  a  thing  ever  entered  his  head.  It  is  customary 
to  speak  as  if  all  thoughtful  natures  necessarily  passed 
through  a  state  of  enquiry,  when  the  mechanical  faith  of 
childhood    breaks   up,  and    then    is   either   solidified  and 


vitalised,  or  dissipated.  I  do  not  think  that  my  father 
ever  had  such  a  period  ;  at  least  I  can  find  no  trace  or 
hint  of  it  in  a  very  full  and  outspoken  diary.  His  faith 
was  deep,  ardent  and  innate  from  a  very  early  stage. 
Most  of  the  entries  end  with  a  Latin  ejaculation,  such 
as  Miserere  mei  Due  or  a  prayer,  often  in  Latin  too. 
His  preoccupations  are  evidently  mostly  ecclesiastical : — 
not  concerned  with  ecclesiastical  politics — there  is  an 
occasional  allusion  to  the  Gorham  case,  but  he  had  a 
special  link  with  it  from  the  fact  that  the  son  of  the 
plaintiff  was  then  an  undergraduate  at  Cambridge, 
and  was  a  friend  and  associate  of  his  own.  Details  of 
ecclesiastical  art  and  architecture  are  constantly  present ; 
he  records  his  visits  to  churches,  and  the  diary  is  full  of 
little  sketches  of  pinnacles,  traceries,  cusps,  finials  and 
other  ornaments. 

There  is  not  much  reference  to  his  classical  reading, 
though  he  read  energetically  and  reproached  himself  much 
with  waste  of  time.  There  are  very  few  allusions  to 
modern  literature ;  many  to  his  friendships  and  many 
plans  for  his  brothers  and  sisters.  There  are  frequent 
and  tender  mentions  of  his  mother  and  sister  Harriet,  and 
the  most  constant  and  feeling  expressions  of  gratitude  for 
the  kindness  heaped  upon  him  by  friends  and  relations. 
His  own  power  of  winning  and  retaining  affection  seemed 
a  constant  surprise  to  him. 

To  his  younger  brother,  Christopher  Benson,  who 
zuas  crippled  from  early  cJiildhood. 

1 85 1  {Scp.l). 

You  do  not  say  anything,  my  dear  boy,  about  a  regular  study 
of  the  Scripture — do  you  find  any  difficulties  in  the  way  of  doing 
this  ?  No  person  can  keep  up  his  communion  with  God  and 
Christ  in  a  vigorous  and  healthy  way,  without  prayer  to  Them, 
and  the  study  of  Their  laws,  and  the  history  of  Their  dealings 

1850-1852  DIARY   AT   CAMBRIDGE  105 

with  man,  and  of  the  manner  of  Their  acting  on  and  influencing 
the  souls  of  those  who  in  this  hfe  are  Theirs.  And  how  can  we 
hope  to  dwell  happily  for  ever  beyond  the  grave  with  Those  whom 
we  care  not  to  know  and  love  on  this  side  of  it,  our  Maker, 
Saviour,  Sanctifier. 

He  writes : — 

Wednesday,  Jan.  %th.  Being  greatly  troubled  about  the  scanti- 
ness of  means  for  the  children,  and  the  difficulty  of  pleasing  all  those 
who  contribute  for  them,  I  went  to  Church ;  and  was  encouraged 
to  trust  both  by  the  Psalms,  and  also  by  the  very  voice  of  my 
dear  Lord;  "Seek  ye  first  the  Kingdom  of  God."  "Why  take 
ye  thought?" 

Thursday,  Jan.  i6th.     A  good  long  walk  with  A B ; 

I  am  certainly  learning  the  art  of  adapting  myself  to  a  peculiar 
man,  I  can  talk  with  him  now  for  hours  without  appearing  to 
give  in  to  his  extravagances,  yet  keeping  him  in  the  best  of 
tempers,  whereas  formerly  a  walk  with  him  always  ended  in  a 
quarrel  and  a  resolution  about  never  repeating  the  ordeal :  he 
is  a  fellow  with  plenty  of  misapplied  wits ;  who  reads  a  great  deal, 
and  seems  as  if  his  only  object  in  reading  were  to  obscure  his 
mind,  and  thence  draw  general  rules  for  reading.  He  has  done, 
and  will  do  nothing,  I  believe.  Heal  Thou  good  Lord  the  bitter 
spring  of  this  uncharitable  tongue.  I  am  in  better  health  and 
spirits  than  for  long  past,  and  consequently  idler. 

Monday,  Jan.  20th.  Walked  to  Cherry  Hinton,  immediately 
after  morning  Chapel,  with  Lightfoot.  He  tells  me  I  am  getting 
extravagant  notions  of  indulgence  and  enjoyment,  the  very  reverse 
of  my  former  ascetic  notions.  That  tender-hearted  old  fellow 
however  got  quite  melancholy  when  I  represented  myself  years 
hence  as  a  thread-bare-coated  half-starved  country  clergyman 
with  a  large  family,  and  himself  as  paying  me  a  passing  visit,  a 
pompous  well-fed  old  tutor  of  his  College,  and  bidding  me  then 
observe  what  had  been  the  effects  of  self-indulgence  in  articulo 
conjugii,  and  in  preferring  to  stick  to  my  "  Monastic  Orders " 
which  no  bookseller  would  take  at  last,  instead  of  self-denying, 
college  feeding,  and  dunce-grinding. — Unlike  ///w  at  any  rate. 

Sunday,  Feb.  C)th.  A  letter  from  Wickenden  which  greatly 
pleased.  He  speaks  really  glowingly  of  the  merits  of  Charley 
and  his  ways. 

I  had  a  very  long  walk  with  L.  and  H.,  two  as  serious  and 

io6  DIARY   AT   CAMBRIDGE  aet.  21-22 

truly  religious  men  as  I  know,  yet  our  whole  conversation  was 
light,  merry  and  every  day.  It  consisted  of  little  else  than  school 
gossip,  and  remarks  upon  our  friends.  There  was  an  attempt  or 
two  to  bring  up  better  things.  But  I  must  say  I  shared  my 
friends'  unwillingness  in  my  heart.  It  used  not  to  be  so  with 
me.  Such  a  walk  would  have  given  me  great  pain  a  year  ago. 
Is  it  owing  to  this  perpetual  reading,  and  brainworking  at  things 
which  do  not  profit?     "We  want  thinking  souls,  we  want  them." 

Thursday,  Fed.  iT^th.  My  conscience  accuses  me  of  having 
wasted  very  much  time,  this  week,  or  at  least  mis-spent  it  as 
regards  the  object  of  my  being  here,  and  having  also  caused 
others  to  mis-spend  theirs.  Time  mis-spent  by  me  may  greatly 
affect  the  welfare  of  my  family.  I  have  wasted  in  profitless  talk 
the  time  that  I  should  have  grudged  to  my  sick  friend  or  a  letter 
to  my  brothers  and  sisters.  As  I  return  across  the  court  I  see 
burning  the  lights  of  my  competitors  and  my  juniors,  and  am 
nightly  full  of  self-reproach.  Lord  grant  me  such  repentance 
that  I  shall  not  know  remorse. 

Monday,  April  \\th.  To-night  while  reading  with  E.  a  gnat 
flew  into  the  candle,  and  immediately  fell  down,  dead  as  I 
thought — however  he  presently  began  to  struggle  in  his  pains, 
and  I  asked  E.'s  leave  to  put  the  creature  out  of  suffering  with 
his  paper  knife.  He  granted  it,  but  said,  "Your  sympathies  with 
the  brute  creation  are  extravagant."  I  said  "What!  you  wouldn't 
leave  it  in  its  misery — "  "Oh  I  don't  mean  on  this  occasion 
only,"  he  said.  He  is  the  kindest  hearted  fellow  that  can  be,  yet 
he  would  not  have  killed  that  fly.  Yet  looking  at  it  in  extenso — 
a  lord  of  creation  ought  surely  to  end  the  misery  of  the  creature 
which  he  cannot  cure — to  have  no  sympathies  with  those  exquisite 
tabernacles  of  life,  the  Wonder  of  Angels ! ! " 

{Staying  at  Exeter  zvith  his  luicle,    William  Jackson?) 

Sunday ,  June  2(^th.  Holy  Communion.  This  afternoon  Uncle 
William  and  I  went  to  service  at  Cathedral;  we  stationed  ourselves 
beside  one  of  the  South  aisle  pillars  towards  the  west  end  of  the 
Nave.  We  thus  escaped  the  miserable  spectacle  of  a  choir  and 
the  respectables  who  go  to  hear,  and  we  were  able  to  follow  service 
with  our  books.  Meanwhile  the  aisles  were  filled  with  several 
hundreds  of  people  promenading  up  and  down  talking  and 
laughing,  children  running  in  and  out,  while  the  vergers  kept 

1851-1852  VACATION    DIARY  107 

the  centre  of  the  Nave  clear  by  bullying  children  who  could, 
and  women  who,  they  thought,  would,  not  resist  them.  Maid- 
servants finely  dressed  with  awkward  imitations  of  their  mistresses' 
manners,  men  standing  astride  with  long-tailed  coats,  turned  down 
collars,  greasy  hair  and  ducks,  all  irreverent — and  E.  W.  B.  kept 
from  devout  service  more  by  the  world  within  than  the  world 

Miserere,  Jesu,  Jesu,  Miserere,  Miserere,  Miserere,  Miserere. 

In  the  Long  Vacation  of  185 1  he  went  for  a  reading- 
party  in  the  Lakes  with  Mr  Mathison,  Tutor  of  Trinity. 

The  journal  of  this  visit  is  very  full  indeed,  and  con- 
tains the  most  minute  description  of  natural  scenery  and 
effects  of  sun  and  cloud — most  minute,  but  not  particularly 
felicitous.  There  are  some  careful  sketches  of  mountain- 
shapes  and  woods,  but  more  conscientious  than  artistic. 

Friday,  Aug.  \st.  We  went  round  the  back  of  Arnold's  house 
and  grounds,  I  carried  my  hat  in  my  hand  all  the  way  past  them, 
and  for  all  the  laughing  which  this  caused  enjoyed  a  very  deep 
pleasure  in  looking  at  his  trees,  his  walks,  his  Pathway,  his  view 
of  Nab-Scar  and  Fairfield ;  had  they  known  how  I  owe  to  him  my 
very  self,  they  would  not  have  been  so  much  amused. 

Aug.  i2t/i.  Wordsworth  in  the  Prelude  is  quite  right  in  describ- 
ing Grasmere  as  "  smiling  with  pleasure  at  its  own  beauties  " — or 
as  Tennyson  has  it  "  pleased  to  find  thyself  so  fair  " — it  is  just  the 
impression  it  conveys.  Yet,  and  this  strikes  me  more  and  more, 
I  doubt  if  one  of  my  companions  would /^^/  this  as  I  do.  Is  it  all 
nonsense,  and  ca?i  one  make  oneself  fancy  anything  whatever  of 
this  kind?  I  do  not  believe  it  at  present  at  least.  I  believe  there 
is  a  real  language  and  I  shall  try  to  learn  it,  for  as  yet  I  am  most 
grievously  ignorant  of  it,  until  I  can  understand  it  for  myself  with- 
out a  poet  to  interpret — "and  /will  talk  with  rocks  and  trees." 

Sept.  \th.  Lodore  was  but  a  little  dribbling  brook,  but  the  huge 
mass  of  great  stones  gives  me  an  idea  that  the  water  when  in  force 
has  a  large  amount  of  tumbling  to  do  ere  it  gets  to  the  bottom.  I 
sat  on  a  wooden  bench  there  and  could  well  fancy  Robert  Southey 
sitting  there  and  gaining  the  grotesque  idea  of  his  cataractic  verses 
that  delighted  me  so  when  a  child,  and  then  jumping  up  to  seize 
perhaps  one  of  his  children  and  threaten  it  with  a  toss  over  the 

io8  VACATION    DIARY  aet.  22 

water.  As  we  came  home  (through  the  vale  of  Newlands,  which 
the  guide  told  us  was  a  favourite  with  old  Southey),  and  down 
near  Keswick,  I  was  able  to  distinguish  his  grey  house  on  the 
knoll  in  the  dark  pretty  nearly  as  well  as  the  following  morning. 
Every  one  calls  him  old  Mr  Southey,  a  woman  did  so  to  whom  I 
spoke — so  did  the  sexton  at  Crosthwaite,  who  told  me  "He  ivas 
a  Christian."  Now  I  never  can  fancy  him  old.  I  think  my  ideas 
of  him  are  more  beautiful,  and  I  will  say  more  true,  than  those  of 
this  generation,  who  with  their  eyes  saw  him.  I  know  his  face 
exactly,  and  his  figure,  and  his  elastic  walk,  and  all  the  charm 
that  his  "boy  heart"  gave  him;  that  is  Robert  Southey  far  more 
than  the  old  man  who  walked  about  here  and  did  not  know  his  own 
children.  He  lies  in  Crosthwaite  Church,  a  good  portrait  but  a 
tasteless  figure — reading  in  bed,  you  would  suppose.  The  Church 
well  beautified.  The  old  sexton,  I  listened  to  him;  let  him  ramble 
on.     Had  anyone  been  with  me,  I  should  have  said  Yes!  yes! 

Motiday,  Sept.  Wi.  Mathison,  Whyley  and  I  rowed  to 
Bowness,  Freeman  steering,  a  beautiful  cool,  quiet,  clear  grey 
afternoon.  The  water  almost  motionless — we  saw  five  herons 
wheeling  together  in  the  air.  That  dear  old  W.  amused  us  with 
songs  of  all  kinds,  Italian  and  Nigger.  The  sense  of  the  latter 
disgusting,  of  the  former  unintelligible  to  me — yet  all  very 
pleasant  to  listen  to — and  so  it  is  sense  becomes  a  vehicle  for 
sound  more  and  more — how  much  is  it  the  case  even  in  our 
College  Anthems  with  the  very  Psalms  of  David. 

Tuesday^  Sept.  gth.  The  folk  expeditioned  to-day  to  Scaw  Fell 
having  carred  from  Ambleside  to  Millack,  I  went  on  to  Rydal 
Water,  and  leeward  of  the  large  island  wrote  several  letters,  and 
looked  at  the  outside  of  my  Tacitus,  and  afterwards  sketched 
poor  Hartley  Coleridge's  cottage.  My  sole  company  was  a 
beautiful  heron,  who  being  like  me  melancholy,  or  having 
broken  his  shin,  like  me,  or  a  wing  upon  some  Striding  Edge 
of  the  clouds,  preferred  staying  at  home  to  going  a  fishing.  Now 
and  then  he  wheeled  about  to  assure  himself  that  I  was  brewing 
no  mischief.  All  things  were  bathed  in  a  mellow  September 
afternoon  light,  and  once  or  twice  for  a  few  minutes  the  water  was 
so  calm  that  the  four  ridges  of  hills  to  the  left,  and  Loughrigg 
to  the  right,  with  all  their  lines  and  shadows  and  colours,  even  the 
tiny  white  pinnacles  of  the  Chapel,  were  imaged  as  fair,  or  even 
more  magically  fair,  than  the  reality.  Who  am  I  who  without 
doing  aught  am  moved  about  by  strong  hands,  and  laid  down 

1851-1852  CRUMMELL   OF   QUEENS'  109 

in  these  paradises  among  the  hills  of  the  Lord  and  the  trees 
of  the  Lord ; — and  profit  not. 

It  was  a  beautiful  sight  to  see  the  herons  come  home,  rising 
into  the  golden  sunlight  above  the  hills  I  could  not  tell  from 
whence,  and  sailing  on  the  glorious  arches  of  their  wings,  on  and 
on — always  alone,  and  each  as  he  came  down  with  outstretched 
neck  and  pendant  legs  ready  to  settle,  taking  one  last  sweep 
down,  then  up,  on  to  the  summit  of  the  tall  Scotch  fir,  to  take 
a  survey  of  the  realm,  and,  as  another  approached,  plunging  into 
the  thick  heads  of  lower  trees  with  a  loud  goodnight  to  his 
neighbours,  and  to  all  the  fair  land  and  water  round  about  him, 
and  a  Deo  Gratias  for  all  his  day's  happiness,  pleasant  unto  the 
ear  of  his  dear  God,  if  not  consciously  addressed  to  him. 

My  Heavenly  Father  careth  for  them. 
I  am  of  more  value  than  many  herons. 

The  Rev.  J.  Bowman,  of  New  Southgate,  sends  me 
a  little  reminiscence  of  my  father's  Cambridge  life  which 
may  be  mentioned  here.  On  a  certain  Degree  day  in 
1850  or  thereabouts,  a  West  African  undergraduate  named 
Crummell,  of  Queens',  a  man  of  colour,  appeared  in  the 
Senate  House  to  take  his  degree.  A  boisterous  individual 
in  the  gallery  called  out  "Three  groans  for  the  Queens' 
nigger."  Mr  Bowman  says  that  a  pale  slim  under- 
graduate, very  youthful-looking,  in  the  front  of  the  gallery, 
who  appeared  to  be  taking  no  particular  interest  in  the 
proceedings,  became  scarlet  with  indignation,  and  shouted 
in  a  voice  which  re-echoed  through  the  building,  "  Shame, 
shame!  Three  groans  for  you.  Sir!"  and  immediately 
afterwards  "  Three  cheers  for  Crummell ! "  This  was 
taken  up  in  all  directions,  and  Mr  Bowman  says  that 
the  original  offender  had  to  stoop  down  to  hide  himself 
from  the  storm  of  groans  and  hisses  that  broke  out  all 
round  him.  Crummell's  champion  was  E.  W.  Benson  of 

In  1852  after  the  Tripos,  he  went  for  a  long  visit  to 

no  VACATION    DIARY  aet.  22 

Yorkshire  ;   he  there  wrote  to  his  cousin  Mary  Sidgwick, 
mother  of  his  future  wife : 

June  ird.  I  have  had  a  day  of  you  ;  would  that  it  could 
have  been  more  than  in  thinking  of  you  only — you  may  guess 
how  well  it  hit  my  fancy  when  W.,  who  is  here  for  the  week, 
proposed  this  morning  a  walk  over  the  moor  to  Barden  Tower 
that  he  might  hook  some  trout :  we  arrived  there  and  pro- 
ceeded up  the  river  from  the  bridge,  he  whipping  the  waters 
and  I  feeling  rather  too  slow  for  him.  Presently  I  said  I 
would  walk  to  the  Abbey  by  myself,  and  that  if  he  would  aim 
thitherward  I  would  meet  him  again.  Off  I  set  glad,  and  half 
crying,  in  a  breath  to  be  there  again  once  more.  How  much 
I  thought  of  you,  and  how  much  I  wished  for  you,  you  may  well 
fancy :  that,  and  the  now  perpetually  recurring  thought  of  what 
will  become  of  me,  and  what  I  shall  do,  engrossed  my  thoughts  I 
think.  And  the  ever-glorious,  and  the  sacred  scenes  of  Bolton, 
for  such  I  feel  them  to  be  in  a  way  that  I  cannot  describe,  nor 
very  fully  account  for,  did  my  heart  and  mind  worlds  of  good. 
When  I  reached  the  Abbey  by  the  stepping-stones,  I  went  first 
to  the  Graves^.  The  two  were  in  nice  order.  I  cleaned 
out  the  word  Presbyter,  which  was  obscured,  and  freed  the 
Cross  from  some  decayed  leaves  which  had  gathered  on  it,  but 
I  did  not  disturb  the  green  moss  till  I  heard  from  you.  If  it 
will  not  hurt  the  stone,  its  light  fresh  green  is  beautiful  and 
touching  too.     I  did  the  same  by  the  others. 

Saturday^  June  ^ih.  Once  again  round  Bolton  by  Haughton 
thro'  the  woods  and  back  by  Barden  Tower.  I  never  felt  anywhere 
as  I  do  at  Bolton,  my  German  books  I  cannot  keep  open  there. 
I  have  all  the  while  I  am  there  a  perfect  Snnday-feel. 

What  glorious  work  it  would  be  to  set  up  as  I  first  thought 
five  years  ago  that  place  once  more,  if  it  with  its  woods  could 
be  obtained  as  a  nursery  for  priests — for  young  clergy  and 
candidates  to  study  in,  and  a  home  for  aged  or  disabled  clergy 
with  their  families.  Meanwhile  Walk  about  Sion  and  Go  round 
about  her  and  Tell  the  towers  thereof,  Mark  well  her  bulwarks — and 
then,  if  the  Lord  will,  we  may  one  day  Set  up  her  houses. 

I  have  been  pulling  up  grass,  feeling  and  knocking  to-day, 
and  feel  sure  that  a  removal  of  two  feet  of  earth  would  give  a 

1  Of  Mrs  Sidgwick's  husband  and  infant  son.  There  are  many  other  graves 
of  the  families  of  Carr  and  Crofts  there,  within  the  ruined  choir. 

i852  VACATION    DIARY  in 

complete  ground-plan  of  the  buildings,  Chapter  House,  &c.  on 
the  South  Side.  The  South  Side  of  Nave,  by  removal  of 
Cloisters  has  been  much  weakened,  is  bulging  and  likely  to  fall. 

The  following  extracts  from  his  diary  of  1852  describe 
how  the  news  about  the  Chancellor's  Medal  reached  him. 

Well,  to  Bristol  we  went.  Had  a  delightful  party  at  dinner  at 
Mrs  Sidgwick's,  and  established  ourselves  delightfully  at  No.  2 
Belgrave  Terrace,  houses  just  built  and  delightfully  situated  over- 
looking the  whole  extent  of  Durdham  Down,  there  being  no  houses 
to  face  them,  and  giving  a  peep  of  the  Severn  and  occasionally  of 
the  Welsh  mountains. 

A  place,  a  time  full  of  interest  to  me  for  my  whole  life,  either 
as  the  first  outspringing  of  a  great  blessing,  or  to  be  for  ever  looked 
back  upon  with  vexation  of  spirit.  God  grant  the  former.  But 
more  of  this  presently. 

It  was  known  that  the  Classical  Tripos  list  was  to  be  published 
on  Thursday  the  25th  of  March,  and  for  this  I  was  anxiously 
waiting,  as  were  all  my  home-friends,  to  say  nothing  of  my 
Cambridge  friends.  But  to  the  former  I  had  said  nothing  of  the 
Medal  Examination,  as  never  supposing  that  it  would  yield 
me  any  fruit.  I  only  begged  all  my  friends  to  be  satisfied  if  I 
were  fourth  or  fifth  in  the  Tripos  list,  but  I  had  secret  hopes  that 
I  might  perhaps  be  bracketed  with  Hammond,  and  so  indeed  had 
most  Cambridge  friends  though  never  expecting  me  to  beat  or 
even  equal  Macnaghten'.  Up  till  Wednesday  evening  I  had 
preserved  a  tolerably  cheerful  countenance,  though  with  not 
unfrequent  quailings,  and  heavings  of  the  heart  and  stretching 
of  arms,  &c. — when  as  we  were  all  seated  round  Mrs  Sidgwick's 
table  a  large  party,  and  I  at  one  end,  in  the  middle  of  a  long 
story,  the  door  opened  opposite  to  my  right  hand,  and  "  if  you 
please  Sir,"  said  Chacey,  "  a  gentleman  from  Cambridge  wishes  to 
see  you."  For  a  moment  owing  to  the  nervousness  I  suffered 
I  felt  a  blank  horror  and  showed  it,  but  as  a  great  relief  it 
occurred  to  me  that  it  would  surely  be  Whittard  with  whom  I 
had  a  glorious  walk  in  Blaise  Castle  Woods  a  day  before,  or 
Westcott  whom  I  knew  he  was  expecting.  But  no — by  this  time 
I  was  in  the  hall  and  it  was  Mr  Martin  himself,  in  great  coat, 
muffled  all  round  the  face  with  shawls,  and  his  hat  and  carpet-bag 

^  Now  Lord  Macnaghten. 

112  CHANCELLOR'S   MEDALLIST  aet.  22 

in  one  hand — "Well,  how  are  you?" — "Oh,  very  well.  Sir," 
breathless — "how  are  you?"  "Very  well."  My  only  idea  was 
that  all  the  evil  rumours  which  as  I  knew  had  been  circulating 
about  my  place  in  the  Classical  Tripos  were  about  to  prove 
too  true,  and  that  he  was  come  to  break  it  to  me,  though  the 
list  itself  would  not  be  out  till  next  day.  "Well,  I  am  come 
to  bring  you  news  from  Cambridge — good  news,"  he  added. 
"Oh!  what?"  "Well,  you've  got  the  Senior  Medal."  "No! 
Impossible — I  don't  believe  it !  "  "  You  have  though,  and  Mac- 
naghten  the  second."  Well,  by  this  time  I  was  in  the  room 
again,  and  Mr  M.  also,  all  hands  upon  him,  and  all  mouths 
enquiring  what  the  Medal  was.  "  Why  the  highest  of  the 
University  honours,"  he  said,  I  remember,  "the  last  and  greatest" 
—and  I  had  positively  achieved  that.  I  couldn't  believe  it.  I 
remember  executing  some  extraordinary  jumps,  and  the  con- 
sequence was  that  I  had  next  to  catch  hold  of,  and  lean  my  head 
against  the  door.  And  now  everybody  wath  one  hand  was 
shaking  me  and  with  the  other  undressing  Mr  Martin.  When 
Frisk  who  had  long  been  distressed  by  the  excitement,  and  had 
now  fully  made  up  his  mind  that  I  was  at  the  bottom  of  it,  gave 
one  bark,  and  made  a  rush  at  my  leg,  and  shook  the  trouser 
furiously.  This  restored  us  all  to  our  senses.  Mr  Martin's 
disrobing  was  quietly  finished  and  he  sat  down  to  tea.  What 
an  evening  that  was.  How  happy  everyone  looked,  and  how 
kindly  they  looked,  and  how  blithe  we  were  to  hear  how  Mr  M. 
had  been  waiting  at  the  Vice-Chancellor's  door  in  the  morning 
till  the  University  Marshal  came  out  and  acquainted  him  with 
the  decision  as  soon  as  it  was  made.  And  how  he  set  off  to  run 
nowhere,  and  suddenly  pulled  up,  quite  surprised  at  himself,  and 
how  soon  after  he  found  that  he  was  running  again  and  still 
nowhere,  and  at  last  went  to  several  of  my  friends,  and  at  Ellis's 
was  so  breathless  that  he  was  obliged  to  take  a  piece  of  paper 
to  write  it,  and  at  Scott's  was  so  queer  that  the  Prince  who  was 
reading  with  him  said  "  Der  Herr  ist  be — something,"  meaning 
"amazed," — and  when  he  got  at  last  to  his  own  rooms  Bateson 
came  straight  from  the  Vice-Chancellor's  and  reminding  him  how 
he  (B.)  had  joked  him  before  the  examination  about  "his  friend 
Benson,"  with  a  "  We've  got  two  better  than  he  is  for  the  Medal," 
now  came  with  a  kind  palinode  to  tell  him  all  about  the  votes, 
and  that  the  decision  was  unanimous.  Ah !  well-a-day,  never 
again  shall  I  enjoy  such  an  evening,  for  it  was  the  reward,  full  and 

i852  "ALL   IS   WELL"  113 

precious,  of  long  labour  against  hope.  Brother  and  sisters,  aunt 
and  cousins,  and  Miss  Crofts,  "  what  eyes  were  in  their  head  ! " 
and  Mr  Martin  was  folding  my  hand  all  evening  into  all  shapes, 
and  dear  little  Minnie,  now  with  one,  now  with  both  arms 
round  my  neck,  stroking  my  hair,  patting  my  forehead — there  was 
not  one  happiness  wanting — yes,  one,  which  I  then  felt,  a  more 
definite  consciousness  that  the  three  whose  work  has  been  done 
now  several  years  were  sympathising  with  this  bright  gleam  in  the 
course  of  my  work.  But  be  it  so,  or  be  it  not  so — It  is  well, 
I  know — All  is  well. 

There  was  never  a  night  to  me  before  or  since  when  with  the 
same  feeling  of  thankfulness  and  perfect  restfulness  I  laid  my 
head  on  the  pillow.  I  awoke  several  times  in  the  night.  But  it 
was  always  to  one  calm  happy  feeling  of,  God  has  blest  me. 

B.   I. 



"  For  sure  then  I  should  grow 
To  fruit  or  shade:   at  least  some  bird  would  trust 
Her  household  to  me,  and  I  sho2cld  be  just." 

Geo.  Herbert. 

My  father  settled  down  at  Cambridge  after  his  degree 
in  his  rooms  in  the  New  Court,  looking  out  upon  the 
Backs ;  one  of  his  windows  was  so  close  to  the  window 
of  the  library  that  it  was  almost  possible  (quite  possible, 

r^^^*^.f#f^.#>^''"- " 


i852  RUGBY   MASTERSHIP  115 

says  one  of  his  contemporaries)  to  climb  across.  He  read 
German  and  was  pleased  with  Uhland,  while  Heine  he  de- 
tested ;  the  very  thought  of  Heine  made  him  shudder.  He 
took  a  few  pupils,  but  describes  himself  as  being  very  lazy 
and  sauntering  about  in  the  summer  mornings  in  the 
Backs  with  a  book,  only  to  find  on  his  return  that  it  was 
not  the  book  he  had  intended  to  take. 

But  this  life  of  leisure  and  rest,  much  needed  after  all  he 
had  gone  through,  did  not  last  very  long.  In  1852,  Dr  Goul- 
burn,  the  Headmaster  of  Rugby,  offered  him  a  mastership 
there ;  my  father  has  told  me  how  he  was  leaning  out  of 
his  window  one  summer  morning,  and  saw  Dr  Goulburn, 
whom  he  knew  by  sight,  strolling  up  the  lime  avenue.  A 
minute  afterwards  there  was  a  knock  at  his  door,  and  on 
going  to  open  it,  he  found  the  Headmaster  standing  there, 
who  introduced  himself,  and  then  and  there  asked  him 
to  come  to  Rugby.  This  offer  was  singularly  congenial. 
He  was  to  assist  Dr  Goulburn  with  the  Sixth  Form,  but 
was  only  to  have  one  hour's  teaching  a  day  and  some 
composition  ;  he  was  also  to  have  the  Schoolhouse  boys  as 
private  pupils,  some  fifty  in  number.  It  was  understood 
that  he  wanted  time  to  read  for  his  Fellowship,  and  this 
was  expressly  stated.  After  some  consultation  he  ac- 
cepted it.  He  had  always  been  ambitious  to  be  a  school- 
master ever  since  he  had  read  as  a  boy  Stanley's  Life  of 
Arnold,  and  that  he  should  find  himself  teaching  Arnold's 
Sixth  Form,  in  Arnold's  library,  was  not  the  least 
attractive  feature  of  the  post.  But  further,  it  gave  him 
an  immediate  opportunity  of  taking  upon  himself  the 
education  of  his  brothers  and  sisters.  Grateful  as  he  had 
always  been  for  the  kindness  of  relations  who  had  under- 
taken this,  the  obligation  had  constantly  weighed  on  him. 
There  was  a  further  point  which  influenced  him.  Mrs  Wm. 
Sidgwick,  his  cousin,  was  intending  to  settle  at  Rugby  for 


ii6  THE    RUGBY    HOUSEHOLD  aet.  23 

the  education  of  her  boys  Henry  and  Arthur:  my  father's 
youngest  sister  Ada  was  Hving  with  them.  To  Mrs 
Sidgwick  he  was  devoted ;  but  besides  that  there  was  his 
little  cousin  Mary  Sidgwick,  called  Minnie,  then  a  girl 
of  twelve,  to  whom  he  was  already  tenderly  attached,  and 
who  (he  had  confided  to  the  pages  of  his  Diary  in  many 
entries  too  sacred  for  quotation)  he  already  hoped  some 
day  might  become  his  wife. 

He  boarded  at  first  in  lodgings  on  the  Dunchurch 
Road,  but  it  was  soon  arranged  that  he  should  live 
with  the  Sidgwicks.  Mrs  Sidgwick  inhabited  a  pleasant 
house  in  the  suburbs  of  the  town,  called  the  Blue  House 
from  the  colour  of  its  bricks,  with  a  large  garden,  with 
open  ground  in  front  of  it,  agreeably  planted  with  elms. 
The  household  was  a  singular  one.  Besides  Ada  Benson, 
Mrs  Sidgwick's  sister,  Henrietta  Crofts,  lived  with  them, 
a  lady  of  masculine  appearance,  with  a  deep  voice,  moods 
of  dark  depression,  and  a  most  incongruous  sense  of 
humour.  William  Sidgwick,  the  eldest  son,  was  shortly  to 
win  a  Scholarship  at  Corpus,  Oxford.  Henry  and  Arthur 
were  very  promising  boys  at  Rugby;  and  a  cousin,  Edward 
Sidgwick,  now  a  solicitor,  lived  with  them  and  also 
attended  the  school.  Never  were  so  many  people  col- 
lected under  one  roof  of  whom  each  so  instinctively  desired 
to  have  his  or  her  own  way.  My  father,  though  not  even 
nominally  the  head  of  the  house,  naturally  dominated  a 
society  in  which  he  lived.  Miss  Crofts  was  of  a  generous 
but  morbidly  jealous  disposition  ;  Mrs  Sidgwick,  the 
most  sweet-tempered  and  affectionate  woman,  had  a  mis- 
placed belief  in  the  process  of  "  talking  people  round  "  ; 
Ada  Benson,  my  father's  sister,  a  clever  attractive  girl, 
was  fully  as  determined  as  himself.  But,  in  spite  of  oc- 
casional contretemps,  the  household  enjoyed  extraordinary 

■BUtt'  ^  \  T'^vx ' 


•    v'^ '  MHfcy  -JB^'i^llK'  ^  J?9*^^^^MBBft^^^^^^^B     ^^HBW 




'  '^^^^^^^^^h^Mj^-^^^MHiSJ^^I 






^•^^^jfcw^fc^^^^^^^^^  „ 

^Hl  ' 



1852-1853  RUGBY  WORK  117 

Rugby  in  those  early  years,  and  as  I  first  remember  it 
a  few  years  later,  was  a  very  different  place  from  what  it 
is  now.  The  School-buildings,  of  a  somewhat  Puginesque 
Gothic,  were  well-proportioned  and  almost  venerable.  The 
incongruous  and  streaky  additions  and  the  flimsy  gazebo 
known  as  the  Chapel  Tower  were  non-existent.  The  streets 
bore  the  appearance  of  those  of  a  quiet  country  town. 
The  station  had  not  assumed  the  prominence  that  it  now 
bears,  and  the  tract  of  land  between  the  town  and  the 
station  had  but  a  few  respectable  houses,  instead  of  the 
new  and  uninteresting  streets  that  now  cover  it.  The 
country,  the  flatness  of  which  Dr  Arnold  used  to  deplore, 
is  pleasant  pasture  land,  rich  in  wood  and  water,  and  great 
grass  fields. 

My  father  used  often  to  describe  how  delightful  his 
work  was.  He  had  only  the  first  lesson  in  school ;  he  used 
to  read  most  of  the  morning,  and  in  the  afternoon  ride  all 
over  the  country.  He  acquired  at  this  time  that  extreme 
love  for  horses  and  riding,  which  never  left  him.  In  the 
evening  he  worked  with  individual  pupils. 

The  first  year  that  he  went  in  for  his  Fellowship, 
Lightfoot  and  Hort  were  elected,  though  he  was  second 
to  Lightfoot  in  Classics,  chiefly  from  a  beautiful  rendering 
into  Greek  Hexameters  of  a  part  of  the  Morte  d^ArtJmr^. 
He  was  elected  the  following  year. 

My  father  was  very  fond  of  talking  about  Rugby  and 
his  early  days ;  he  delighted  to  recall  the  guise  in  which  it 
was  thought  proper  to  attend  Chapel  on  Sundays.  Before 
he  was  ordained  he  used  to  assume  on  Sundays  light  pearl 
grey  trousers,  a  blue  frock  coat,  collars  which  rose  to  the 
middle  of  the  cheek,  and  an  expansive  silk  tie  tied  in  a  hard 
knot  and  very  much  fluffed  out  at  the  ends  with  a  won- 
derful ornamentation  of  "  birds  like  toucans  or  bit-baskets 

^  Life  and  Letters  of  Fenion  J.  A.  Hort,  vol.  I.  p.  232. 

ii8  THE    RUGBY   MASTERS  aet.  c^s 

filled  with  flowers  ! " — a  pair  of  lilac  gloves,  a  silk  Bachelor's 
gown  and  a  cap  completed  the  vision.  But  I  think  that 
he  must  have  been  always  old-fashioned  in  the  matter 
of  dress,  since,  when  Headmaster  of  Wellington,  he  used 
at  first  to  wear  a  dress  coat  in  the  mornings  and  maintain 
that  it  was  not  only  more  proper  but  more  economical. 

My  father's  colleagues  at  Rugby  were  certainly  a 
distinguished  body ;  rarely  have  there  been  collected  at 
any  public  school  so  many  men  who  made  their  mark 
in  the  world  afterwards.  Besides  Dr  Goulburn  and  Dr 
Temple,  the  Headmasters  under  whom  he  served,  there 
were  the  Rev.  C.  T.  Arnold  (died  1878),  the  Rev.  H. 
Highton,  afterwards  Principal  of  Cheltenham  (died  1874), 
R.  B.  Mayor,  late  Rector  of  Frating  and  Canon  of 
St  Albans,  G.  G.  Bradley,  afterwards  Headmaster  of 
Marlborough  and  now  Dean  of  Westminster,  J.  C.  Shairp, 
afterwards  Professor  of  Poetry  at  Oxford,  and  Principal 
of  St  Andrews,  T.  S.  Evans,  afterwards  Canon  of  Durham 
and  Professor  of  Greek  in  Durham  University,  Charles 
Evans,  afterwards  Headmaster  of  King  Edward's  School, 
Birmingham,  and  Canon  of  Worcester,  Berdmore  Compton, 
afterwards  Vicar  of  All  Saints,  Margaret  Street,  and  Pre- 
bendary of  St  Paul's,  the  Rev.  P.  Bowden  Smith  who  died 
in  1894,  T.  W.  Jex-Blake,  afterwards  Principal  of  Chelten- 
ham, Headmaster  of  Rugby  and  now  Dean  of  Wells, 
A.  G.  Butler,  afterwards  Headmaster  of  Haileybury  and 
now  Vice-provost  of  Oriel  College,  Oxford,  and  C.  B. 
Hutchinson,  now  Canon   of  Canterbury. 

It  is  a  remarkable  list ;  and  it  is  not  to  be  wondered  at 
that  my  father  found  the  society  of  such  colleagues  stimu- 
lating and  encouraging. 

My  father  wrote  an  interesting  reminiscence  of  Principal 
Shairp  in  1887  shortly  after  the  death  of  the  latter.  In  it 
he  said  : 


His  exclusive  love  of  Scotland  was  delicious.... I  remember 
well  being  one  of  a  committee  of  four  to  settle  a  History  subject 
for  an  examination  in  Dr  Goulburn's  study.  One  suggested  one 
period  and  one  another.  But  Shairp  objected  to  a  political 
period  as  full  of  the  worst  premature  lessons  for  boys,  and  to  the 
French  Revolution  as  too  horrible,  and  to  the  Great  Rebellion 
as  a  good  cause  overthrown  by  its  own  badness,  and  to 
French  periods  generally  as  mad  or  selfish,  and  to  the  Conquest 
because  nothing  was  known  about  it,  and  to  others  as  dry  or 
badly  told — until  we  asked  him  to  settle  his  own  subject,  when 
he  said,  so  far  as  boys  were  concerned,  the  only  real  History  was 
the  History  of  Scotland — and  the  best  and  most  feeling  narrative 
was  the  Tales  of  a  Grandfather.  Similarly  someone  commended 
in  his  hearing  a  fellow-countryman  of  his  own  who  spoke  English 
so  purely  that  there  was  not  a  trace  of  northern  pronunciation  or 
accent.  Shairp  said  in  the  broadest  yet  most  polished  of  Scotch 
tones,  "  I  never  knew  the  man  who  deliberately  tried  to  be  rid 
of  his  natural  brogue,  but  there  was  something  radically  base  in 
the  man." 

My  father  kept  a  somewhat  spasmodic  diary  at  Rugby, 
summarising  the  events  of  months  in  a  few  lines :  he 
writes  in 

March  1853.  I  am  so  much  in  arrear  with  my  diary  that  I 
shall  never  fill  it  up.  A  few  happy  days  at  Redland,  a  few  more 
with  my  sisters  at  Pennsylvania^,  two  or  three  with  Prince  Frederic 
at  Combe,  my  journey  with  him  to  Cambridge,  Southampton, 
Winchester — all  had  their  pleasures  and  distinct  impressions. 
Then  my  seven  happy  weeks  at  Cambridge,  my  delightful 
summery  rooms  in  the  deep  shade  of  the  avenue,  my  first 
perusal  of  Chaucer  with  Mr  Martin,  strolling  and  sitting  in  the 
Roundabout  when  it  was  too  hot  to  walk  out ;  my  most  un- 
expected appointment  to  Rugby  and  visit  of  Eleanor  and  Em. 
with  Mrs  S.,  Miss  Crofts  and  Minnie  and  Henry  to  Cambridge, 
closing  all  with  a  delightful  week — the  seal  of  my  Cambridge  life 
— all  the  scenes  of  this  most  happy  year. 

The  good-natured  rallying  of  the  masters  on  my  youthful  looks 

set   me   at   ease  with  theni^  and   Chas.  Evans  soon  put  me  in 

the  way  of  my  work,  and  soon  I  was  settled  and  busy— I  had 

fifty-two  private  pupils  at  once,  form  work  for  a  first  lesson  only, 

1  A  suburb  of  Exeter,  where  his  uncle  William  Jackson  was  living. 

120  FELLOW   OF   TRINITY  aet.  24-25 

as  I  had  to  read  for  my  fellowship  and  could  not  undertake  more. 
I  enjoyed  the  work  thoroughly,  and  frequently  had  to  take  the 
Sixth  form  for  Dr  Goulburn,  which  was  pleasant.  How  strange 
the  first  time  to  kneel  down  in  Arnold's  school  with  the  Rugby 
Sixth  and  use  Arnold's  familiar  Prayer  before  work.  Could  I 
have  believed  it? 

]\Iy  visit  to  Cambridge  for  the  fellowship  examination,  happy, 
and  the  result  satisfactory. 

My  ordination  at  Christmas  by  Bishop  of  Manchester  at  Bury 
January  9.     The  rest  of  my  holidays  spent  at  Redland. 

My  second  half  year  is  gliding  on  as  happily  as  the  first,  busy, 
full  of  energy  and  spirit.  But  I  am  doing  very  little  work  for 
myself,  my  health  is  so  unsteady  and  Dr  Barnard's  language  so 
strong  that  I  dare  not  (do  more).  Two  years  he  says  I  ought 
to  give  to  recover  a  strong  body,  if  I  am  to  live  and  work  heartily. 
I  trust  I  am  doing  right — but  it  is  fearful  to  see  the  year  rolling 
on  so  fast  and  my  books  at  a  standstill. 

I  am  about  to  give  up  my  first  lesson  entirely  and  confine 
myself  to  private  pupil  work  with  the  exception  of  a  Lecture 
on  Composition  with  Studies  therein  to  the  Twenty,  Fifth  and 
Second  Fifth — this  latter  being  considered  equivalent  to  my  first 
lessons  in  amount  of  work. 

I  trust  I  may  be  able  to  effect  something— the  composition  of 
the  school  is  at  a  low  ebb,  and  its  scholarship  generally.  Some- 
thing seems  to  ail  the  place  at  present. 

Dr  Goulburn  has  too  low  an  estimate  of  innate  goodness  in 
boys.  I  am  sure  their  te?idency  is  not  evil  but  good,  thoroughly 
good,  however  often  they  fall.  "  Greater  is  He  that  is  in  them 
than  he  that  is  in  the  world." 

In  1853  my  father  was  elected  a  Fellow  of  Trinity, 
and  he  then  took  up  more  school  work  and  at  the  same 
time  threw  himself  with  great  energy  into  theological 
reading.  He  studied  Hippolytus,  the  Greek  Father,  with 
a  view  to  producing  an  edition  :  he  alludes  to  this  in  his 
Cyprian  as  his  "juvenile  lucubrations^" 

1  Two  articles  from  his  pen  appeared  in  the  yonrnal  of  Classical  and  Sacred 
Philology  in  March  and  November,  1854,  respectively.  One  is  on  the 
"Martyrdom  and  Commemorations  of  St  Hippolytus,"  the  other  on  "The 
Fragments  of  a  Hymn  to  Aesculapius  preserved  in  the  IVth  Book  of  St 

1853-1854  VISIT   TO   ROME  121 

My  father  refused  a  boarding  house,  but  cultivated  inti- 
mate relations  with  his  pupils :  in  the  holidays  he  travelled 
assiduously,  visiting  Rome  with  Lightfoot,  and  working 
many  hours  a  day  at  churches  and  galleries.  He  also  visited 
most  of  the  important  French  Cathedrals,  and,  to  show  the 
minute  accuracy  with  which  he  threw  himself  into  details, 
he  identified  and  catalogued  the  Statues  at  Rheims,  several 
hundred  in  number.  He  then  began  the  patient  accumu- 
lation of  pictures,  photographs  and  engravings,  mostly 
of  sacred  subjects  and  ecclesiastical  buildings,  of  which  he 
procured  a  great  number,  neatly  arranged  in  portfolios. 
When  at  Rome  he  was  presented  to  the  Pope,  Pio  Nono ; 
and  he  and  Lightfoot  having  come  to  the  Vatican  in  frock 
coats,  he  used  to  describe  how  the  services  of  a  friendly 
Chamberlain  were  volunteered  to  pin  the  offending  gar- 
ments into  the  shape  of  dress-coats.  I  have  heard  him 
say  how  on  that  or  some  similar  occasion  an  English 
clergyman  and  his  wife  attended  the  Pope's  levee,  and  the 
clergyman,  a  pillar  of  the  strictest  orthodoxy,  who  had 
only  been  prevailed  upon  by  his  wife's  insistence  to  attend, 
was  standing  by  my  father  when  the  Pope  entered,  and  all 
present  knelt  down.  This  gentleman,  to  the  bystanders' 
intense  amusement,  muttered  to  his  wife,  "This  is  too 
ridiculous,  I  can't  do  this."  "You  must,  dear — it  is  only 
proper — mere  courtesy."  "Well,  it  will  have  to  be  only 
one  knee  then."  On  the  same  visit  my  father  had  his  hat 
cr,ushed  over  his  brows  by  an  enthusiastic  spectator, 
because,  unconscious  of  the  Pope's  approach,  he  had  not 
removed  it  in  time. 

To  Mary  Sidgwick,  then  tivclve  years  old. 

Rome.    Hotel  d'Angleterre. 

Dec.  31,  1854. 
My  dearest  Minnie, 

The  Pope  was  there.     He  sat  in  a  great  canopy 

on  one  side,  there  were  40  or  50  Cardinals  all  in  their  scarlet  and 

122  LETTER   FROM   ROME  aet.  25 

white  there,  for  they  had  been  staying  on  since  the  council  and 
the  scene  was  very  grand.  It  is  a  remarkable  sight  to  see  them 
all  presented  before  service,  and  kissing,  the  more  dignified  his 
hand,  the  rest' his  foot.  He  was  in  white  with  a  very  large  loose 
cape  above,  which  his  attendant  priests  opened,  and  showed  him 
every  now  and  then.  But  he  is  a  fine  and  benevolent  looking 
man,  and  all  his  part  of  the  service  he  went  through  with  great 
interest  and  devotion,  for  he  read,  or  chanted  rather,  several  of 
the  more  important  parts.  He  has  a  fine  clear  sonorous  voice, 
and  to  him  it  was  no  mummery  I  am  very  sure.  It  was  the  same 
on  Christmas  Day  when  I  saw  the  most  gorgeous  ceremony  that 
is  to  be  seen  on  earth.  He  officiates  that  day  like  any  priest,  and 
did  so  with  great  earnestness  of  manner.  The  high  altar  stands 
in  the  midst  of  the  Church  under  the  dome,  and  the  Pope  sits  in 
the  east  end  as  the  Bishop  always  did  in  the  early  Church,  with 
Bishops  and  Cardinals  on  either  side.  Cardinal  AntonelliS  who 
is  the  Pope's  Prime  Minister,  assisted  at  the  altar,  and  when  the 
Pope  was  once  more  on  his  throne  carried  him  the  Cup  and  Host 
in  procession.  I  was  close  to  the  Pope  and  he  passed  me  several 
times.  Cardinal  Antonelli  looked  like  a  statesman  every  inch, 
but  I  fear  he  is  a  bad  one — he  is  much  hated  by  the  people. 
The  singing  I  need  scarcely  tell  you  was  most  glorious ;  after  it 
was  over  the  Pope  was  seated  in  a  great  chair  and  the  tiara 
placed  upon  his  head.  He  looked  a  wonderful  figure,  but  more 
like  a  picture  or  a  statue  or  a  dream,  as  sixteen  men  in  scarlet 
robes  lifted  him  upon  their  shoulders,  and  two  splendid  fans  of 
white  feathers  and  peacock's,  on  poles  10  feet  high,  were  borne 
behind  him  like  an  eastern  potentate,  and  he  was  slowly  borne 
through  the  Church  making  the  Sign  of  the  Cross  over  the  heads 
of  the  people  perpetually  as  he  went,  while  the  tapers  burned 
quietly  on  the  altar,  and  the  great  circle  of  lamps  glowed  round 
the  tomb  of  the  Apostle.  Then  one  looked  up  and  saw  round 
the  dome  beneath  the  great  mosaics  the  awful  legend,  "  Tu  es 
Petrtis — et  super  hac  petra  aedificabo  ecciesiam  ineam — et  tibi  dabo 
claves  regni  coelorutn  " — and  felt  for  a  moment  as  if  they  really 
must  be  the  historical  chain  that  bound  the  earth  to  the  shore 

1  He  held  the  highest  posts  of  state  under  Pius  IX.  in  1848,  and  from  1850 
till  his  own  death  in  1876.  He  took  a  leading  part  in  the  debates  of  the 
Oecumenical  Council  in  1869,  and  protested  against  Victor  Emmanuel's 
"unholy  "  tenure  of  the  Quirinal,  and  the  occupation  of  Rome  by  the  Italian 



'■^^^^  -— /    .^^ 

,,g>.KA  .   ,    .1  , '  .' 

.AFTER     A     SKETCH      MADE     BY     L.     SAULINI,     ROME,     1855. 

FOR     A     CAMEO     PORTRAIT. 

To  face  page  123,  ''■ol.  i 

i855  ORDINATION  123 

of  the  Sea  of  Galilee,  as  if  this  were  the  mountain  of  the  Lord's 
House  exalted  in  the  top  of  the  hills.  But  it  passed  away  in  a 
moment — and  one  felt  there  must  be  a  truer  fulfilment  some- 
where,— and  then  as  one  came  out  one  saw  the  bronze  statue  of 
St  Peter  with  half  his  foot  kissed  away,  and  his  bran-new  ring  for 
the  occasion  glistening  on  his  forefinger,  and — alas,  alas — and 
once  more  the  Pope  came  close  past  me,  attended,  but  on  foot 
and  in  his  ordinary  dress,  passing  to  his  lodgings,  and  he  Hfted 
up  his  hand  again  to  send  his  blessing  amongst  us — how  strangely 
are  good  and  evil  mixed  in  this  complicated  earth. 

Ever  your  most  affectionate, 


To  Mary  Sidgwick. 

CiviTA  Vecchia. 

Jan.  27,  1855. 

I  went  to  Vespers  at  St  Peter's  for  the  last  time  on  Thursday. 
I  like  very  much  to  be  present  at  those  services  in  which  one  can 
join  heartily,  like  Vespers,  which  consists  mainly  of  the  Psalms, 
Lessons  and  Collects.  It  helps  one  to  feel  that  there  is  a  Holy 
Catholic  Church,  though  its  skirts  are  so  sadly  rent, — and  it  is 
good,  I  think,  that  we  should  try  to  feel  this,  and  that  in  spite  of 
all  sins  and  shortcomings  of  the  Church  in  this  or  that  country, 
there  still  is  one  Lord  and  one  Baptism. 

In  1854  he  had  been  ordained  Deacon  by  the  Bishop  of 
Manchester,  by  letters  dimissory  from  the  Bishop  of  Ely. 
My  father's  account  of  his  examination  is  so  curious  that 
I  must  here  repeat  it.  He  was  told  to  call  upon  the 
Bishop's  Chaplain,  a  country  clergyman,  and  presented 
himself  at  the  Rectory  at  the  appointed  time.  The 
Chaplain,  it  seems,  did  not  catch  his  name  and  asked  him 
to  be  seated — and  then  after  one  or  two  general  remarks, 
on  learning  that  he  was  a  candidate  for  Orders  asked  him 
the  date  of  the  Call  of  Abraham.  The  future  Archbishop 
confessed  total  ignorance,  and  the  Chaplain  stared  at 
him  hard  for  a  moment  with  a  dissatisfied  expression,  and 

124  ORDINATION    EXAMINATION         aet.  25-27 

presently  asked  him  the  date  of  Solomon's  birth.  Again 
he  pleaded  ignorance  and  was  met  with  a  "  Very  bad,  sir, 
very  bad  indeed :  most  reprehensible  ignorance."  My  father 
said  that  he  had  not  expected  such  questions.  "Well,  what 
did  you  expect,  sir  ? "  said  the  Chaplain,  "  a  knowledge 
of  the  sequence  of  the  events  of  Bible  History  is  a 
necessary  part  of  a  clergyman's  knowledge — Come,  what 
have  you  read  ? "  My  father  mentioned  a  treatise  of 
Cyprian's  and  some  other  books.  The  Chaplain  frowned 
and  asked  him  another  date  of  which  he  was  again 
ignorant.  He  then  said  sternly,  "  What  College  do  you 
belong  to.?"  "Trinity."  "What  degree.?"  "Eighth 
Classic."  "  Any  University  or  College  distinction .? " 
"  Senior  Chancellor's  Medallist  and  Fellow  of  Trinity," 
"Oh!"  said  the  Chaplain  with  a  genial  smile,  "you  are 
Mr  Bcnso7i,  mentioned  in  this  letter  from  the  Bishop  of 
Manchester ;  I  beg  your  pardon — I  didn't  catch  the  name 
— most  stupid — we  may  consider  the  examination  at  an 
end,"  and  he  politely  handed  my  father  a  document  which 
had  been  lying  sealed  and  directed  upon  a  side  table,  to 
the  effect  that  he  had  passed  a  most  creditable  examination. 
My  father  used  to  add  that  at  the  same  time  a  fellow- 
candidate  writing  on  the  "sacrifice"  in  the  Holy  Com- 
munion, mentioned  under  one  head  the  sacrifice  of  the 
body  and  soul  of  the  receiver.  "  What  do  you  mean,  sir  ?  " 
said  the  Examiner.  The  man  referred  to  the  Office.  The 
Chaplain  turned  hastily  over  the  pages,  found  the  proposi- 
tion sound,  but  pointing  to  the  obnoxious  words,  said  with 
pompous  emphasis,  "  Reasonable,  sir ;  reasonable,  you  will 

My  father's  examination  for  Priests'  orders  was  some- 
what similar.  Dr  Corrie,  late  Master  of  Jesus  College,  was 
Examining  Chaplain  to  Bishop  Turton  of  Ely.  My  father 
went  to  see  him,  and  was  told  that  he  would  be  excused  the 


ordinary  examination,  but  must  select  some  Patristic  treatise 
and  come  on  a  certain  day  to  do  a  paper.  He  came,  began 
the  paper,  when  the  Master  was  called  away :  he  obligingly 
said,  "  Come  and  see  me  on  such  a  day  for  your  certificates 
— when  you  have  done  your  paper  put  it  on  that  table,  and 
leave  a  paper-weight  on  it."  My  father  did  as  he  was  told, 
and  in  a  few  days  called  as  directed.  The  Master  received 
him,  not  very  graciously,  and  asked  him  why  he  had  not 
done  the  paper  he  had  been  set.  He  replied  that  he  had 
done  it,  and  glancing  at  the  side-table,  saw  that  the  paper 
was  lying  where  he  had  placed  it,  with  the  paper-weight 
still  in  its  place.  He  pointed  this  out  to  the  Master,  whose 
only  reply  was  to  hand  him  his  certificate  with  a  somewhat 
embarrassed  smile,  adding,  "  the  examination  in  your  case, 
Mr  Benson,  is  purely  formal." 

To  the  Rev.  J.  F.    Wickenden,  tJien  Curate  of 
PersJiore,    Worcestershire. 

Feb.  9,  1855. 
My  dear  Wickenden, 

I  was  very  glad  to  find  two  letters  of  yours  awaiting 
my  reading  on  my  return.  I  should  have  liked  coming  over  into 
Persia  to  help  you  if  it  had  been  possible,  but  I  was  standing 
by  night  in  far  other  atria  Dommt  than  you  meditated  in  on 
St  John's  Eve.  Some  time  I  ftiust  come  and  see  you,  I  am  more 
and  more  anxious  to  obtain  a  notion  of  your  Physical  Geography, 
without  which  of  course  I  cannot  understand  yourself 

You  must  have  enjoyed  your  tour  and  the  Gothic  Churches. 
Oh  !  the  thankfulness  with  which  I  blessed  God  for  Christian 
Architecture  in  England  as  I  trod  the  Nave  of  Canterbury  the 
first  moment  that  I  could  after  reaching  England.  Your  winter 
though  at  Pershore  with  so  much  cholera  has  been  sad. 

I  infer  from  your  letter  and  its  contempt  of  externals,  and 
censures  of  your  poor  brother  and  his  love  for  the  Church,  that 
you  have  at  length  emerged  from  those  mists  in  which  we  long 
travelled   together,   and    that   you    now   see   all   things,  and   the 

126  RUGBY   LETTERS  aet.  26 

practice  of  Christianity  in  particular,  with  the  same  clear  un- 
dimmed  eye  which  dear  George  Lee  so  wished  to  be  in  us. 
And  though  one  would  not  have  expected  to  see  you  in  your 
Apostolic  Habiliments,  those  in  fact  so  disguise  you  that  you  may 
be  conceived  of  as  a  sheep  in  wolf's  garments — well !    well ! 

Ever  your  most  affectionate, 

E.  W.  B. 

In  Mrs  William  Sidgvvick  he  found  another  mother; 
he  writes  to  her  from  Cambridge,  which  he  often  visited  in 
the  holidays : 

Trinity  College.  Cambridge. 
Jan.  29,  1856. 
My  dearest  Aunt, 

I  had  a  sleepless  night  last  night  and  have  a  bad 
headache  to-day.  But  I  have  little  fear  of  its  lasting.  There 
is  a  quiet  joy  in  being  here,  the  courts,  the  grounds  and  the  Hall 
have  a  thousand  lights  upon  them  for  every  man  who  has  been 
nurtured  in  them,  which  no  other  eyes  can  see.  But  above  all 
the  Chapel,  with  its  quiet  Service,  and  then  the  chants  and  the 
anthem  on  the  high  days,  exercise  a  power  over  me  which  no 
other  place  in  the  world  can  do.  But  it  would  not  do  for  me, 
I  think,  to  live  here;  it  has  been  very  good  for  me  to  live  at 
Rugby,  and  to  be  with  you,  I  am  sure  I  feel  gentler  and  more 
even,  and  as  if  I  had  advanced  a  little,  though  alas !  it  is  very 
little,  in  the  wisdom  which  is  above.  But  above  all  I  thank  God 
that  He  has  given  me  one  little  heart  to  be  so  much  mine  now, 
and  to  grow  more  and  more  mine  daily  all  our  lives,  as  mine 
is  already  hers  wholly,  and  I  doubt  not,  but  trust  in  Him  that  He 
will  teach  us  how  to  do  each  other  good,  and  build  each  other  up, 
both  by  softening  and  strengthening,  and  that  to  yotir  joy  also. 

I  fear  you  will  be  tired  by  my  running  on  so  long  about  self — 
but  it  would  only  be  to  his  most  affectionate  mother  from  her 

Most  affectionate  son, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

As  regards  my  Church  views  it  is  too  long  a  subject  to  enter 
on,  whole  sheets  would  not  be  enough  if  I  wrote  as  fully  as  I 
ought  if  I  once  began.     I  can  but  say  that  I  truly  believe  myself 

r856  CHURCH   VIEWS  127 

to  agree  with  you  on  all  points  touching  Church  authority,  and 
the  view  I  take  of  our  own  Church  as  the  most  perfect  expositor 
of  the  Christian  Religion  which  has  existed  since  the  days  of  the 
Apostles — as  having  the  great  bulwarks  of  the  Apostolical  Epis- 
copate, Presbytery,  and  Diaconate,  the  true  administration  of, 
and  instruction  concerning  the  Sacraments,  as  the  means  of  grace 
appointed  us,  and  as  teaching  in  all  the  true  doctrine  of  the  Word 
of  God.  If  there  are  any  questions  to  which  I  can  briefly  reply, 
which  you  wish  to  ask  me  on  this  matter,  I  will  with  great 
pleasure.  For  this  I  can  do,  not  as  bearing  at  all  on  the  subject 
with  us  in  the  way  it  appears  in  your  last,  but  as  quite  a  general 
matter,  and  because  I  am  both  surprised  and  sorry  that  you  do 
not  seem  to  know  more  of  me  than  you  do. 

Good  night — my  head  aches — and  my  heart  too  a  little — but 
forgive  me,  and  that  will  go  far  to  cure  the  latter,  and  what 
remains  to  be  cured  must  cure  itself. 

Your  affectionate  nephew  once  more, 

E.  W,  Benson. 

To  J.  B.  LigJitfoot. 

April  6,  1856. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

Thank  you  for  the  immense  pleasure,  and  for  the 
great  instruction  which  I  have  derived  from  your  review  of  Jowett 
and  Stanley.  It  is  indeed  the  best  thing  you  ever  have  done  yet, 
and  I  hope  and  trust  the  worst  of  all  that  you  are  going  to  do. 
Depend  upon  it  scholarship  is  your  field  and  not  parochialism. 
Your  review  will  give  instruction  to  hundreds,  and  point  the  way 
to  sound  study  of  New  Testament,  from  which  you  will,  if  you  are 
a  good  man,  give  us  a  good  deal  oi  good  work  and  rich  ore  yourself, 
that  is  hitherto  untouched.  I  haven't  expressed  half  what  I  feel 
about  this  review,  but  I  thank  you  again,  my  dear  fellow,  very 
much  for  my  own  personal  benefit.  I  don't  at  all  wonder  at 
Stanley  and  Jowett  writing  to  you  as  they  did.  They  could  not 
do  otherwise. 

I  dare  not  go  to  Switzerland  with  men  to  walk  the  distances 
and  undertake  the  fatigues  that  men  do  there.  I  don't  feel  up 
to  it — less  and  less  indeed  every  half  year.  I  shan't  go  to 
Switzerland  till  I  have  got  a  wife,  who  won't  tire  one  with  walking. 

128  LETTER   FROM   AMIENS  aet.  26 

I  don't  think  what  you  say  of  what  you  call  "  Tractarian " 
History  is  just.  They  certainly  first  reminded  the  nineteenth 
century  that  the  Church  had  lived  more  than  six  centuries,  three 
at  the  beginning  and  three  at  the  end.  However  I  daresay 
you've  thought  more  about  these  things  than  I  have,  so  I 
won't  bother  you  any  more  to-night. 

Ever  your  affectionate, 

E.  W.  B. 

To  Mary  Sidgwick, 


June  20,  1856. 

The  French  style  of  Cathedral  is  quite  new  to  me,  i.e. 

the  flamboyant  part  of  them  which  is  the  main  part  hitherto.  I 
don't  like  the  style  on  paper,  but  in  stone  it  seems  almost  as  if  it 
were  a  living  animated  mass,  it  is  so  full  of  expression,  or  what 
they  call  here  "mouvement." 

I  went  to  Mass  yesterday  and  didn't  much  like  it,  but  heard  a 
most  eloquent  sermon  about  St  Louis  de  Gonzaga  and  St  Paul 
from  a  very  young  man  which  drew  tears  from  many.  The 
vesper  music  in  the  afternoon  was  very  religious  and  beautiful : 
and  after  it  a  Priest  went  into  the  pulpit  and  read  in  French  a 
long  and  fine  prayer  for  the  better  hallowing  of  the  sabbath.  For 
this  purpose  there  is  now  great  influence  being  exerted  by  the 
Clergy  throughout  France.  Strange  that  at  the  same  time  we  in 
England  should  be  endeavouring  to  imitate  the  old  bad  ways 
which  they  are  themselves  anxious  to  abandon.  This  morning  I 
had  an  amusing  conversation  in  the  Church  at  Abbeville  with  the 
sacristan,  who  seeing  me  staring  at  a  paltry  altar  of  the  Virgin, 
came  up  and  asked  me  to  dedicate  a  petite  chandelle  to  light  in 
her  honour.  I  answered  him  that  I  was  not  a  Catholic,  and  he 
told  me  that  he  was  very  sorry  for  it,  but  he  said  he  was  sure  I 
was  "un  bon  homme,  a  goot  man."  I  told  him  I  was  sure  he 
was  another  and  we  then  concluded  that  it  was  a  pity  that  all 
"good  men"  like  ourselves  were  not  of  the  same  religion,  that 
religion  was  not  "la  meme  partout."  However  I  assured  him 
that  I  was  much  attached  to  the  Church  of  my  fathers  and  that  it 
was  impossible  that  I  ever  could  leave  it,  "  although  the  music  at 
the  High  Mass  was  very  grand  and  the  preacher  very  eloquent 
and  very  young,"  and  so  with  these  enormous  concessions  to  the 

1856-1857  HEALTH   BREAKS    DOWN  129 

superior  merit  of  his  Church,  we  parted  most  excellent  friends,  he 
expressing  a  hope  that  I  might  come  again  to  honour  the  High 
Mass  at  Abbeville  with  my  presence,  and  I  hoping  that  I  might 
see  him  again  if  I  ever  did  so. 

To  J.  B.  Lightfoot. 

Sept.  29,  1856. 

All  things  in  the  scholastic  way  go  worse  and  worse.  One 
lives  in  perpetual  provocation  to  unlovingness,  unchristian  talk, 
distaste  at  one's  place,  and  aTret'^eta  rots  T^you/xcvots'.  And  I  for 
one  am  not  strong  enough  to  conquer  all  this,  and  be  the 
stronger,  as  some  men  might  be.  Alack,  alack.  Oh  for  a 
Rhemish  ^  or  a  Roman  Stall ! 

Your  ever  most  affectionate, 

E.  W.  B. 

I  am  thinking  of  being  ordained  Priest  at  Christmas,  if  possible 
at  Cambridge,  i.e.  at  Ely.     Will  not  you  also  ? 

About  1857  my  father's  health  began  to  break  down  : 
he  was  attacked  by  bad  neuralgia  and  general  nervous 
prostration.  A  visit  to  a  celebrated  doctor  resulted  in  his 
being  advised  to  leave  Rugby  altogether,  and  to  give  him- 
self complete  rest.  He  went  up  to  Cambridge  and  con- 
ferred with  Mr  Martin  and  his  Trinity  friends :  and  the 
result  was  that  he  was  offered  a  Lectureship,  with  an 
almost  immediate  prospect  of  a  Tutorship.  This  he 
accepted,  but  for  reasons  which  will  appear  he  never 
actually  went  to  Cambridge.  He  suffered  terribly  at 
Rugby  from  neuralgia ;  the  usual  regime  had  been  quinine, 
port  wine  and  heavy  feeding :  and  my  father  had  reluct- 
antly eaten  far  more  than  he  desired,  and  drugged  himself 
morning  and  night  with  quinine — he  used  to  speak  with 
a  kind  of  shudder  of  the    muzziness    of  head    that   this, 

^  Disobedience  to  those  in  command. 

'^  i.e.  at  Rheims,  a  place  to  which  my  father  was  greatly  devoted. 

B.  I.  9 

I30  DR   TEMPLE  aet.  27 

combined  with  nights  sleepless  from  pain,  had  produced 
in  him.  But  a  remedy  given  him  by  Dr  Sharpe,  of 
Rugby,  whatever  it  was,  acted  as  a  powerful  sedative : 
he  used  to  describe  how  the  pain  seemed  to  be  stroked 
away  by  an  invisible  hand  ;  and  for  the  time  he  seemed 
to  be  cured  though  the  neuralgia  recurred  for  some  years 
at  intervals. 

Meanwhile,  in  1857  Dr  Goulburn  retired  from  Rugby, 
and  Dr  Temple,  who  became  my  father's  lifelong  friend, 
was  appointed  to  succeed  him.  Dr  Temple  may  not  have 
been  distinguished  by  suavity  as  a  Headmaster,  but  his 
intense  devotion  to  work,  his  gigantic  energies,  and  the 
deep  tenderness  of  his  nature,  were  irresistibly  attractive  to 
my  father,  who  a  year  or  two  afterwards  asked  him  and 
Dr  Lightfoot  to  be  sponsors  to  his  firstborn  son. 

To  J.  B.  Lightfoot. 

Jan.  5,  1857. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

At  present  I  feel  like  a  caged  grampus  with  a  sore 
tail,  to  combine  in  one  Tennysonian  condensity  the  three  familiar 
images  of  bad  humour. 

What  a  terrible  tragedy  is  this  assassination  of  Abp  Sibour  on 
Ste.  Genevieve's  day.  To  think  how  possibly  you  and  I  might 
have  been  loitering  under  that  quaint  gallery  that  runs  from  pillar 
to  pillar,  and  been  close  to  him,  and  seen  the  execrable  deed  ! 
Do  you  remember  his  calm  thin  face  as  he  sat  in  the  gallery  at 
Ste.  Agnese's?  Had  the  deed  been  that  of  some  newspaper 
editor  or  rabid  anti-church  declaimer,  it  must  have  raised  the 
clergy  to  mediaeval  eminence  in  France ;  one  would  think  it 
almost  a  special  favour  of  Providence  that  it  should  have  been 
by  the  hand  of  a  Priest. 

Ever  yours, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

1 85 7  RUGBY   LETTERS  131 

To  J.  B.  Lightfoot. 

Aug.  20,  1857. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

We  are  in  great  tribulation,  i.e.  Bradley  and  myself, 
about  our  expected  head.  He  very  anxious  for  Temple,  and  I 
too,  so  far  as  one  can  tell  by  hearsay. 

If  Temple  be  all  they  say  of  him,  it  will  be  difficult  not  to  be 
a  fxa6r]Tr}<;,  but  I  think  I  am  getting  a  little  too  old.  I  have  little 
doubt  that  you  will  have  me  back  in  College  in  October  '58,  if 
God  will.  I  am  happy  to  say  that  the  idea  is  not  z^«favourably 
looked  upon  in  a  quarter  where  I  might  have  expected  a  little 
reluctance.  The  reluctance  to  undertaking  a  boarding  house 
seems  greater. 

You  will  have  heard  from  Martin  what  a  glorious  tour  we  had. 
He  enjoyed  it,  I  think,  vastly,  and  his  walking  sometimes  amazed 
me.  He  went  10  hours  one  day  on  foot  apparently  without 
fatigue,  I  fear  that  we  younger  ones  shall  not  be  up  to  that 
kind  of  thing  between  50  and  60,  any  more  than  we  are  to 
quoting  Horace  and  Shaftesbury  with  old  Pryme.  Goulburn  is 
very  happy :  particularly  content  with  his  translation  to  Quebec 
Chapel.  It  seems  to  me  a  kind  of  reversal  of  Wolfe's  exploit. 
He  has  scaled  Quebec  downwards. 

"  Prayer-bell's  rung.  Sir."     Good  night. 

Ever  your  most  affectionate, 

E.  W.  B. 

To  the  Rev.  J.  F.  Wickenden  tvho  had  recently  lost  both  J  lis 
parents  and  was  himself  in  such  delicate  health,  that  he 
was  obliged  to  give  up  his  clerical  work. 

Dec.  I,  1857. 
My  dear  Wickenden, 

I  was  very  glad  to  receive  your  very  kind  and 
affectionate  note. 

I  always  think  that  when  one  home  is  broken  up  it  is  most 
happy  to  make  another,  built  up  if  possible  out  of  the  old  one,  as 
soon  as  can  be.  The  state  of  mourning  is  a  good  one  we  are  told, 
but  I  think  it  cannot  be  that  of  mourning  for  what  is  lost.     And 


132  RUGBY   LETTERS  aet.  28 

as  you  and  I  have  often  talked  this  over,  I  can  well  imagine  that 
your  new  home  with  your  old  furniture  may,  as  you  say,  have 
something  of  gladness  about  it. 

With  regard  to  lost  friends,  my  dear  Wickenden,  I  fear  that 
now  I  am  in  a  state  with  which  few  would  sympathise.  Prayer 
for  them  is  to  me  such  an  inestimable  blessing,  and  the  thought 
of  them,  and  the  belief  that  they  have  passed  through  such 
experiences,  seen  such  things,  know  such  things,  love  without 
falling,  serve  without  labouring,  is  so  great  a  thought,  that  I 
really  feel  little  regret  for  any  lost  friends.  At  times  it  comes 
back  keenly- — but  it  is  not  a  common  feeling,  and  it  vanishes 
before  the  thought  of  how  much  better  it  would  be  to  become  as 
one  of  them.  I  do  think  that  this  feeling  is  in  its  practicalness 
due  to  our  old  commemorations  of  which  you  still  speak.  I 
seldom  use  them  fully  now.  I  wish  I  had  some  friend  with  whom 
to  use  them.  But  I  have  made  new  ones  now,  or  rather  gone 
back  to  older  ones.  I  enclose  for  you,  thinking  you  will  like  to 
see  it,  a  little  Litany  which  I  made  at  my  Aunt's  request  for 
her  household.  They  use  it  at  morning  prayers  on  days  when 
they  go  to  Church.  I  say  they^  for  I  am  never  at  home.  Work 
here  increases  so  much  as  to  carry  me  off  my  legs — rather  off  my 
head,  I  think.  And  from  now  to  the  end  of  the  half  I  probably 
may  not  write  another  line  to  a  friend ;  which  is  the  reason  I  have 
so  hastily  written  this  without  more  delay.  The  new  Headmaster 
would  keep  me  here  if  anything  could.  But  I  think  I  shall  leave 
ere  long,  for  reasons  into  which  you  probably  would  not  enter. 

My  sister  Emmeline  is  to  be  married  next  month — to  a  clergy- 
man in  Shropshire.  She  and  the  rest  are  well,  thank  you.  Will 
you  give  my  kind  remembrances  to  your  sister,  and 

Believe  me. 

Ever  your  affectionate  friend, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  J.  B.  Lightfoot,  on  tutorial  work  at  Cambridge. 

II  Jan.,  1858. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

I  need  not  say  that   I  have  not  and  shall  not  have 
anything  for  the  Journal.     I  wish  I  had.     But  literary  ardour  is 


rapidly  dying  out  now,  and  I  feel  my  place  is  more  with  "labour" 
than  with  "thought." 

I  feel  more  and  more  queer  about  leaving  Rugby  and  coming 
up :  more  and  more  anxious  to  do  so,  yet  more  and  more  afraid 
of  its  postponing  my  marriage  perhaps  for  years.  Martin  says  the 
most  contrary  things  about  the  chance  of  livings,  and  bothers  me 
dreadfully.  Sometimes  says  there  is  a  good  chance  of  ;^400  a 
year  being  attainable  in  2  or  3  years  (the  longest  I  wish  to  wait) 
and  sometimes  says  there  is  no  chance  for  10  years  or  more. 
I  feel  like  the  old  fisher  who  sprang  from  the  rock  to  the  dangling 
rope  on  St  Kilda.  Bide  where  I  am,  and  die  where  I  am.  Spring 
to  the  rope  and  perhaps  miss  all. — The  most  unexpected  offer  of 
the  house  to  Smythies  however  and  his  acceptance,  seem  a  kind 
of  sign  not  to  stay ;  it  is  the  only  house  very  much  desirable. 

Ever  your  affectionate, 

E.  W.  B. 

To  the  same,  on  Charlotte  Bronte. 

25  Jan.,   1858. 

My  dear  Lightfoot, 

We  are  just  going  to  ride  over  to  Haworth— Charlotte 
Bronte's  you  know — and  to  see  the  place  where  high  pressure 
misery  wrought  so  much  on  genius. 

Your  ever  affectionate, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  the  same,  07i  Dr  Temple's  Sermons. 

Feb.  15,  1858. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

I  but  write  to  thank  you  for  your  last  note  and  for  the 
Master's  opinion.  I  like  and  admire  what  I  have  seen  of  the  new 
Head.  He  preached  yesterday  on  the  Rich  young  Man,  he 
compared  his  keeping  of  the  Decalogue  and  his  inability  to  fight 
the  last  battle  with  self,  to  the  Israelites  who  conquered  and 
endured  till  they  came  to  the  edge  of  the  Holy  Land,  and 
then  dared  not  take  the  last  venture  of  war  with  the  sons  of 
Anak.     How  they  were  sent  back  for  40  years  till  all  the  carnal 

134  DR   TEMPLE  aet.  28 

race  had  been  purged  away,  and  how  the  rich  youth  must  have 
fallen  into  apathy,  or  like  Israel  have  renewed  its  strength,  but  at 
last  done  for  God  in  bitterness  what  they  might  have  done  with 
joy.  He  said  it  was  not  often,  but  most  likely  once  in  each 
man's  life  at  least,  that  one  was  called  on  to  choose,  to  make 
a  definite  choice  between  two  lines — a  higher  and  a  lower — and 
he  exhorted  the  taking  of  the  higher  life,  and  courage  in  the 
choice.  Many  expressions  went  to  one's  heart— and  it  was  ad- 
mirably expressed,  and,  when  he  warmed,  admirably  delivered. 

Your  ever  affectionate, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  the  Rev.  J.   T.  Pearse. 

Feb.  23,  1858. 
My  dear  Pearse, 

We  have  begun  here  nobly  I  think.  Temple  is  a 
grand  man  to  look  at,  and  a  grander  to  hear.  I  never  so  heard 
a  man  speak  evidently  out  of  his  own  very  heart,  and  his  face 
quite  haunts  me.  I  feel  immensely  drawn  to  him  ;  he  is  clearly 
one  who  hates  "  policy,"  and  thinks  nothing  of  lucre  or  place  but 
solely  of  right.     He  is  the  man  to  improve  us  all. 

I  am  still  however  unsettled  in  my  plans.  If  anything  could 
make  me  stay  here  it  would  be  Temple,  but  I  rather  believe  my 
days  here  are  coming  to  a  close.  It  must  be  my  own  act,  I 
suppose,  at  last,  but  I  am  as  motionless  at  present  as  the  body  in 
the  first  law  of  motion. 

I  wonder  whether  you  are  as  much  afflicted  with  Composition 

as  we  are — I  have  been  at  work  to-day  about  7|  hours  with  my 

form  and  pupils,  and  of  those  5  hours  have  been  given  to  horrid 


Ever  your  affectionate, 

E.   W.   Benson. 

My  father's  diary  relating  to  his  contemplated  change  of 
life  is  written  in  a  depressed  spirit ;  the  work  of  a  school- 
master was  highly  congenial  to  him ;  much  as  he  enjoyed 
the  idea  of  returning  to  Trinity,  it  meant  an  indefinite 
deferring  of  his  marriage,  for  he  was  by  this  time  engaged 
to  his  cousin  Mary  Sidgwick.     What  he  hoped  to  do  was 


to  wait  till  his  health  should  be  restored  and  then  stand 
for  some  Headmastership. 

He  had  already  missed  a  Headmastership  in  an  un- 
expected way.  The  Headmastership  of  Westminster  was 
in  the  gift,  for  that  turn,  of  the  Master  and  Fellows  of 
Trinity,  My  father  had  allowed  it  to  be  understood  that 
he  would  accept  it,  and  it  was  passed  down  the  Fellows : 
having  been  declined  by  one  or  two  probable  candidates,  it 
was  understood  that  my  father  would  be  appointed,  when, 
to  the  surprise  of  most  of  the  College,  it  was  accepted  by 
the  Rev.  C.  B.  Scott,  an  Etonian,  whose  long  and  honour- 
able tenure  of  the  office  only  terminated  in  1883. 

Another  call  very  nearly  came  ;  in  1 856  Bishop  Tait,  then 
just  appointed  to  London,  was  making  enquiries  for  a  do- 
mestic Chaplain,  and  my  father's  name  was  strongly  pressed 
upon  him  by  Stanley \  but  he  was  not  eventually  selected. 

In  1853  the  Fund  to  perpetuate  the  memory  of  the  Duke 
of  Wellington  had  been  appropriated  to  the  foundation  of 
a  College  for  the  sons  of  officers  :  the  site  was  fixed  in 
a  remote  and  healthy  tract  on  the  borders  of  Windsor 
Forest.  The  Prince  Consort  flung  himself  most  warmly 
into  the  plan,  and  regulated  the  constitution  of  the  place 
with  a  characteristic  enthusiasm  and  precision.  Just  when 
my  father  had  decided  to  leave  Rugby,  he  was  offered  the 
Headmastership  of  the  new  College,  and  accepted  it.  He 
had  several  interviews  with  the  Prince,  and  was  deeply 
impressed  with  his  good  sense  and  acuteness,  and  at  the 
Prince's  desire,  left  England  for  a  prolonged  tour  in 
Germany  to  study  continental  methods  of  education. 
Among  other  interesting  experiences,  he  spent  a  day  with 
Baron  Bunsen  at  Heidelberg.  His  visit  to  the  then  Crown 
Prince  of  Prussia  at  Babelsberg  is  given  in  a  letter  below 
(p.  138). 

'  Life  of  Abp  Tait,  vol.  i.  p.  207. 

136  WELLINGTON   COLLEGE  aet.  28 

To  J.  B.  Lightfoot. 

March  20,  1858. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

I  write  as  early  as  has  been  possible  to  tell  you  that 
if  all  proceeds  as  I  now  expect,  neither  Cambridge  nor  Rugby 
will  be  my  nursing  mother  any  more. 

Prince  Albert  has,  through  Temple  and  on  his  recommen- 
dation, offered  me  the  Headmastership  of  Wellington  College. 
If  you  exclaim  "What's  that?",  Martin  will  give  you  the  ex- 
planation.    I  am  writing  to  accept  the  appointment. 

I  believe  this  to  be  the  better  solution  of  the  perplexities  for 
myself  than  either  of  the  others.  I  do  not  depart  from  Rugby, 
or  resign  residence  at  Trinity  without  grief,  but  the  latter  plan  of 
life  grew  less  hopeful  to  me  when  I  was  with  you  last — and 
unexpected  difficulties  of  detail  appeared.  God  has  been  opening 
my  eyes  of  late  to  see  that  I  am  not  able  or  worthy  to  work 
in  His  fields  of  thought,  and  that  my  place  is  among  the  working 
classes — now  His  hand  seems  to  place  me  where  His  Spirit,  as  I 
trust,  teaches  me  I  must  be. 

Your  ever  affectionate, 

E.  W.  B. 

To  Mary  Sidgwick. 

April  21,  1858. 
My  dearest  Minnie, 

I  had  a  very  prosperous  day  in  town.  The  train  was 
half  an  hour  late,  and  I  consequently  found  the  Secretary  gone 
from  Downing  Street  to  the  House  of  Lords  where  the  Council' 
met  in  the  Fine  Arts  Commission  room.  I  followed  him  therefore 
vite,  vite,  and  after  a  little  wandering  in  that  dazzling  place,  found 
myself  in  the  open  air  again,  and  directed  to  enter  by  another 
door.  At  the  foot  of  a  great  staircase  which  I  reached  I  turned 
round  and  saw  a  moustachioed  gentleman  drive  up  in  a  carriage, 
but  I  turned  round  and  ran  upstairs  and  on  reaching  the  top 
found  that  the  gentleman  had  run  upstairs  after  me,  and  that  it 
was  the  Prince  himself  He  smiled  very  graciously  and  sweetly 
and  shook  hands  with  me,  and  he  went  on  into  the  room  where 
the  Council  had  met  already.     I   waited  a  few  minutes  in  the 

^  Of  Wellington  College. 

1858  THE   PRINCE   CONSORT  137 

Lobby  till  the  Secretary  came  out  and  said  they  were  ready  for 
me,  and  on  my  entering,  the  Prince,  as  President,  told  me  that  my 
appointment  had  been  passed  by  the  Council,  and  that  they  were 
going  to  ante-date  my  salary  three  months,  i.e.  to  give  me  ^£200 
— which  was  very  handsome. 

Then  the  Secretary,  I  found,  had  broken  up  my  long  letter 
into  Resolutions  which  were  read  one  by  one,  the  Prince,  like  a 
trump  as  he  is,  arguing  well  for  every  one  of  them,  and,  when  any 
discussion  arose,  desiring  the  Secretary  to  read  my  letter  aloud. 
The  end  of  it  was  that  every  point  in  my  letter  was  carried,  which 
amounts  in  many  things  to  a  reorganisation  of  the  plan.  The 
sole  thing  not  carried  was  the  Bath  of  which  the  construction  was 
postponed  through  want  of  funds  at  present. 

Lord  Derby  was  there  and  very  kind,  he  came  up  and  chatted 
very  kindly.  He  is  like  the  picture  in  the  Illustrated  News,  but 
has  very  fierce  dark  eyes. 

Lord  Lansdowne^  was  very  interesting  to  see — so  grand  an  old 
veteran  with  such  white  hair  and  a  voice  that  sounds  from  the 
other  world. 

Mr  Sidney  Herbert  ^  was  there  and  very  pleasant. 

There  were  a  good  many  more  swells  but  I  did  not  identify 
or  care  about  any  others.  The  Prince  is  a  prince  of  princes, — 
thoroughly  interested  and  hearty. 

Ever  your  most  affectionate, 


To  J.  F.    Wickenden. 

April  26,  1858. 
My  DEAR  Wickenden, 

I  had  sooner  write  you  a  few  lines  now,  than  postpone 
till  a  few  more  can  be  added ;  many  thanks  for  your  kind  con- 
gratulations on  the  fact  of  my  appointment. 

However  I  fear  you  cannot  have  been  quite  so  diligent  a 
student  of  the  "  Englishman's  Daily  Lessons  "—Court  Circular^ 
as  you  would  have  me  believe,  or  the  fact  would  have  appeared  to 

^  The  doyen  of  the  Whig  Party  ;  had  been  Chancellor  of  the  Exchequer  in 
1806  in  the  Ministry  of  "All  the  Talents,"  and  was  in  the  Cabinet  without 
office  during  tiie  Crimean  War.     He  declined  a  Dukedom. 

^  The  Peelite  ex-secretary  at  War,  created  Lord  Herbert  of  Lea,  and  died 
at  Wilton  in  1861.     His  statue  is  in  front  of  the  War  Office,  Pall  Mall. 

138  TOUR    IN    GERMANY  aet.  28 

you  some  time  earlier  than  it  did.  Thank  you  however,  and 
thank  your  aunt  and  my  most  kind  friend  for  her  congratulations. 
I  believe  it  is  to  be  rejoiced  at  as  a  fine  opportunity  for  good  and 
true  work  and  rather  of  a  new  kind, — the  great  problem  of 
whether  the  "Artes"  of  the  fifteenth  century  are  the  only  fit 
discipline  of  boys'  minds — one  has  a  sheet  thrust  into  one's  hands 
of  data  wholly  different  from  those  old  artes,  and  a  "  There,  work 
that  out !  "  However  they  certainly  give  me  wherewithal  to  work 
it  out,  I  think — a  fine  and  well-ordered  and  wealthy  "  plant,"  and 
machinery,  and  what  I  hope  will  be  a  good  class  of  boys  to  work 
upon.  You  see  I  am,  as  ever,  looking  only  at  the  sweets — but  I 
am  not  insensible  to  the  difficulties  that  now  lie  as  smooth  as  the 
spines  in  a  cat's  coat  stroked  the  right  way — but  the  first  act  I  do 
may  set  them  all  up  and  draw  one's  blood  perhaps. 

The  summer  I  have  to  spend  abroad  in  the  military  and  other 
schools  of  Germany  and  Prussia,  so  I  shall  have  little  hope  of 
visiting  either  you,  or  very  much  at  Weston,  as  I  hoped. 

But  this  time  twelvemonths  you  must  come  and  visit  me  in 
Berkshire  D.V. — I  don't  get  there  till  January  1859. 

Farewell  for  the  present — excuse  great  haste — but  it  is  late 
after  a  hard  day's  work,  and  I  have  to  get  a  good  night's  rest,  for 
I  am  off  in  the  morning  early  to  spend  a  day  or  two  with  Cotton 
at  Marlborough. 

Your  ever  affectionate, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  Mary  Sidgwick. 

Jtily  6,  1858. 
My  DEAREST  Girl, 

I   had  just  got  so  far  when  an  event  occurred 

which  broke  the  monotony  of  this  day,  and  of  my  thoughts  I 
hope  for  several  days  to  come.  You  must  know  that  I  had  been 
this  morning  to  see  one  Baron  Stockmar  who  is  private  secretary 
to  the  Princess  Frederic  William,  in  order  to  obtain  from  him 
some  introductions  to  different  schools  in  Prussia;  I  found  him 
very  kind  and  agreeable,  and  enjoyed  a  long  talk  with  him  sitting 
in  his  little  room  in  a  little  engine  house  on  the  lake  within  the 
park  of  Babelsberg  where  the  Prince  and  Princess  live.  He  said, 
"  Well  now,  if  you  want  to  see  the  Prince  and  Princess,  there 
they  are,"  and  looking  from  the  window  I  saw  them  come  quickly 

1858  THE    CROWN    PRINCE    FREDERIC  139 

and  briskly  walking  along  the  path — and  talking.  He  is  tall  and 
good  looking — she  not  short,  and  very  young  looking.  She  was 
most  plainly  dressed. 

Well,  I  was  very  glad  to  have  got  this  little  glimpse  of  royalty 
looking  so  pretty  and  pleasant— (they  are  the  future  King  and 
Queen  you  know  of  Prussia) — and  went  home  again.  The  whole 
walk  is  very  green  and  pretty,  beautiful  young  woods  surrounding 
a  most  sweet  little  castle,  on  the  borders  of  the  lake — and  yet  I 
believe  all  is  artificial.  The  country  is  a  sandy  waste,  and  this  a 
little  oasis  produced  by  ceaseless  watering.  There  were  pipes  in 
all  directions  showering  the  grass  and  trees,  as  round  Rugby, — 
only  with  clear  water  instead  of  dirty. 

Well,  ho7tie  I  came  (into  Potsdam  that  is — the  city  of  little 
palaces,  the  Versailles  of  Berlin)  and  went  and  saw  a  bit  of  a 
school.  Then  wrote  my  bit  of  letter,  above,  and  just  then  in 
came  a  man  with  a  letter  from  Baron  Stockmar,  containing — 
guess  how  astonished  I  was  ! — a  command  from  the  Prince  and 
Princess  to  dine  with  them  at  3  o'clock. 

I  should  have  requested  to  be  taken  to  a  lunatic  asylum  if 
there  had  been  time,  but  luckily  for  me  there  was  not — I  had 
only  just  time  to  dress  and  drive  up.  At  the  gate  there  was  such 
a  grand  porter  taking  off  his  cap,  that  I  should  have  felt  it  was  all 
right  if  he  had  told  me  to  hold  it  for  him,  or  stand  behind  him, 
or  anything  else — but  he  was  kind  enough  not  to  do  so — so  I 
went  on  into  the  Schloss,  and  found  there  some  "swells"  of 
footmen  who  took  away  my  umbrella  but  amazed  my  unsophisti- 
catedness  in  making  me  keep  my  hat  on  my  head. 

I  thought  I  would  wait  till  Baron  Stockmar  came,  and  then, 
finding  I  could  not  do  so,  I  was  seized  with  a  desire  to  run  away, 
but  I  did  not  do  that  either,  and  so  went  on  through  drawing 
room  after  drawing  room,  all  most  gothically  and  beautifully  fitted 
up.  Then  I  came  on  another  gentleman  or  two,  with  their  hats 
in  their  hands,  and  then  to  my  relief  came  Baron  Stockmar.  We 
had  a  pleasant  chat  during  which  I  came  gradually  to  the 
conclusion  that  I  was  not  going  to  commit  any  egregious  folly, 
and  accordingly  I  didn't. 

The  Prince  and  Princess  came  in,  followed  by  her  three  ladies. 
She  talked  to  me  most  pleasantly  for  some  time,  and  then  the 
Prince,  and  they  expressed  great  interest  in  the  Wellington 
College.  They  had  been  present  at  the  laying  of  the  first  stone, 
they  said,  immediately  after  they  were  engaged  to  each  other. 

I40  THE   PRINCESS   ROYAL  aet.  28-29 

When  we  went  to  dinner,  the  Prince  sat  in  the  middle  of  one  side 
the  table,  and  the  Princess  on  his  right  hand,  a  lady  whose  name 
I  could  neither  say  nor  spell  on  his  left — a  gentleman  at  each 
end — opposite  two  ladies,  self  and  Baron  Stockmar. 

I  was  opposite  the  Princess.  The  dinner  was  what  epicures 
would  call  most  elegant,  and  very  nice  indeed  to  my  uneducated 
taste.  But  I  did  not  eat  a  great  deal,  for  the  Princess  kept  me 
talking  incessantly,  until  I  was  ashamed  to  have  all  the  conver- 
sation to  myself — but  I  could  not  help  it. 

After  dinner  in  the  drawing  room  the  gentlemen  resumed  their 
hats  into  their  hands,  except  the  Prince,  and  so  talked — I  had 
again  a  long  talk  with  the  Princess  about  Balmoral  and  Abergeldie 
which  I  knew  as  well  as  she  did — she  knew  every  room  in  the 
castle,  and  every  hill,  where  I  was  so  happy  in  1848,  and  she 
knew  Mr  Anderson,  and  Gow,  and  Andrew  Wilson  and  all  my 
old  favourites  among  the  peasants.  She  remembered  the  Braemar 
gathering,  and  all  the  people  that  were  there.  She  is  very  fond  of 
Scotland,  and  talked  of  it  with  tears  in  her  eyes,  and  of  the  hills 
and  lochs. 

She  is  certainly  a  charming  lady  and  would  be  thought  so 
whoever  she  were.  She  talks  with  great  spirit,  and  describes  very 
well,  and  expresses  her  feelings  with  great  vivacity.  She  is 
evidently  both  clever  naturally  and  very  well  educated.  Several 
people  have  talked  about  her  in  the  trains  and  always  with  the 
enthusiasm  which  we  heard  at  home  there  was  about  her  here. 
They  were  full  of  stories  of  her  straightforwardness  and  simplicity, 
and  all  of  them  I  can  well  understand. 

She  has  a  most  sweet  and  kind  expression  and  that  is  certainly 
her  only  beauty  of  face — but  it  is  round  and  plump  and  happy 
looking  and  very  young.  The  Prince  is  a  fine,  quick,  kind, 
goodhearted  young  man,  who  looks  as  innocent  as  the  morning, 
and  talked  about  his  father  and  mother  and  all  very  pleasantly. 
What  strikes  me  about  all  these  great  people  is  the  consideration 
and  gentleness  of  their  manners — and  the  desire  to  make  one  feel 
at  ease.  Fancy  this  party  of  seven  Germans,  and  one  English 
lady,  who  spoke  German  as  well  and  fluently  as  they  did,  to  them 
in  the  drawing  room,  all  of  them  talking  in  English  the  whole 
dinner  through  in  compliment  to  me  a  stranger  and  poor  school- 

Ever  your  most  affectionate, 



To  J.  B.  LigJitfoot,  on  German  Schools. 

Oct.  6,  1858. 


My  tour  was  dullish  work,  though  not  uninteresting 
when  contemplated  from  a  sufficient  distance,  nor  uninstructive 
from  the  same  standpoint,  but  the  fact  was  that  I  was  i?i  school  all 
the  holidays. 

I  wish  I  could  talk  all  over  with  you.  I  received  a  good 
many  impressions  which  I  want  to  discuss  with  you.  The 
general  gist  of  them  may  be  stated  to  be  the  vast  superiority 
of  English  over  German  Classical  schools,  and  (save  a  feiv  giants 
in  Germany)  scholars  also — i.e.  our  run  of  scholars  vastly  superior, 
in  sense,  feeling,  and  extent  of  reading  to  theirs. 

Their  conceit  is  however  (like  ours)  unbounded.  But  they 
know  nothing  of  English  education,  and  told  me  gravely  and 
refused  to  disown  or  give  up,  the  most  wondrous  fictions  about 
our  schools. 

My  glimpses  of  two  Courts  were  very  funny  and  very  pleasant. 

Your  ever  affectionate, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

My  father  did  little  clerical  duty  at  Rugby,  no  visitingf, 
and  next  to  no  preaching  except  in  the  Chapel,  His  time 
was  fully  occupied,  and  he  held  that  a  schoolmaster's  life 
is  primarily  a  cure  of  souls — and  secondly  that  one  who 
educates  others  must  at  the  same  time  be  sedulously 
educating  himself. 

His  first  extempore  sermon  was  preached  under  singular 
circumstances  in  1854.  He  was  attending  evensong  shortly 
after  his  ordination  at  a  new  Church  in  Rugby — the  Holy 
Trinity — on  a  Saint's  Day.  The  clergyman  was  prevented 
from  attending,  and  my  father  was  called  out  of  his  seat 
by  the  verger  and  asked  to  perform  the  service.     Just  as 

142  MARRIAGE  aet.  29 

he  had  robed  himself  the  verger  said,  "  Mr  always 

gives  a  short  address  on  Saint's  Day  evenings."  William 
Sidgwick,  who  was  present,  saw  at  the  conclusion  of  the 
Service,  with  profound  misgivings,  my  father  proceed  to 
the  pulpit,  and  the  first  words  of  the  discourse  "  the  sun  is 
a  heavenly  body "  convinced  him  that  from  nervousness 
my  father  had  almost  taken  leave  of  his  senses.  But  he 
was  soon  reassured.  The  sermon  was  short  but  pointed, 
being  constructed  on  the  well-known  verse  of  Keble's, 

"The  Saviour  lends  the  light  and  heat 
That  crown  His  Holy  Hill, 
The  Saints  like  Stars  around  His  seat 
Perform  their  courses  still." 

There  is  less  material  for  the  Rugby  period  than  for 
almost  any  other  part  of  my  father's  life;  he  was  much 
engrossed  in  his  work,  wrote  but  few  letters  to  friends, 
or  few  have  been  preserved,  and  found  his  chief  happiness 
in  the  unrestrained  intercourse  with  the  loving  household 
in  which  he  lived.  His  diary  cannot  be  quoted  in  ex- 
tenso,  as  it  is  mainly  occupied  with  the  dawning  hope 
which  was  afterwards  so  happily  fulfilled  by  his  marriage 
with  his  cousin  Mary  Sidgwick. 

To  Mary  Sidgwick, 

May  27,  1859. 

This  is  not  "to  Minnie"  but  to  "Edward" — only 
I  send  it  you  that  you  may  know  how  my  thoughts  occupy 
themselves  to-day,  and  what  good  advice  I  give  myself — Only  I 
wish  that  my  "Self"  were  the  least  likely  to  take  it. 

Your  would-be-tranquil-earth, 

E.  W.  B. 

1 859  MARRIAGE  143 

{Enclosed  in  the  above.) 
The  Last  Month. 

Hast  hoped  and  waited  long? 

Comes  joy  a-floating  near? 
Be  wise,  and  calm  and  strong : 
Lest  thy  heart  do  thee  wrong; 

Be  still  for  gentle  fear. 

For  so  the  wise  sweet  Earth 

Fades  midnight-blue  to  dun, 

And  stills  her  heart  of  mirth. 

Or  e'er  from  his  new  birth 

Leaps  her  love-lord,  the  Sun. 

Then  in  what  trance  of  light 

She  bathes  her  glorious  brow! 

Tranquil  in  hope  all  night 

She  won  her  spousal  right ; — 
Tranquil  in  joyance  now. 

E.  W.  B. 

On  June  23,  1859  my  father  and  mother  were  married 
at  the  old  Church  at  Rugby,  and  went  for  a  brief  honey- 
moon in  Switzerland. 

Dr  Temple  married  them,  and  wrote  a  characteristic 
note  in  answer  to  my  father's  request  that  he  would 

Dear  Benson, 

I   would  come   from   Pekin  to   have  the  pleasure  of 
giving  you  your  wife. 

Yours  affectionately, 

F.  Temple. 

And  here  I  must  touch,  however  gently,  upon  what 
was  the  central  fact  of  my  father's  life — the  companionship 
of  my  mother.  From  the  time  when  he  was  at  the 
University,  and  played  with  her  as  a  little  child,  he  desired 
some  day  to  make  her  his  wife.  When  he  came  to  live 
with  the  Sidgwick  household  at  Rugby,  and,  in  the  intervals 

144  MARRIAGE  aet.  29 

of  his  school  work,  found  time  to  teach  her,  this  desire  was 
formulated  not  only  to  himself  but  to  others.  Before  he 
began  his  first  independent  work,  when  she  was  just 
eighteen,  they  were  married,  and  the  camaraderie  of  the 
Rugby  household  was  exchanged  for  the  close  companion- 
ship of  married  life  among  the  wild  and  heathery  solitudes 
of  Wellington.  Thus  her  life  was  bound  up  with  his  in  a 
way  which  is  seldom  possible  to  a  wife.  There  was  not  a 
single  thought  or  plan  or  feeling  which  he  did  not  share 
with  her :  and  from  first  to  last  her  whole  life  and  energies 
were  devoted  to  him.  For  many  years  she  was  his  sole 
secretary.  He  consulted  her  about  everything,  depended 
upon  her  judgment  in  a  most  unusual  way,  and  wrote 
little  for  public  utterance  which  he  did  not  submit  to  her 
criticism.  My  father  had  an  intense  need  of  loving  and 
being  loved  ;  his  moods  of  depression,  of  dark  discourage- 
ment, required  a  buoyant  vitality  in  his  immediate  circle. 
One  cannot  constantly  recur  to  the  fundamental  facts  of 
life,  but  without  a  knowledge  of  this  it  would  be  impossible 
to  understand  my  father's  character  and  career. 

When  his  appointment  to  Wellington  College  was 
announced,  his  pupils  subscribed  to  give  him  a  beautiful 
edition  of  the  works  of  Chrysostom,  and  asked  him  when 
it  would  be  convenient  to  him  to  receive  a  deputation  on 
the  subject.     He  replies  : — 

Mv  DEAR  Lee  Warner, 

It  will  be  the  greatest  delight  to  me  to  carry  away 
any  remembrances  of  my  dear  pupils. 

You  must  forgive  me  if  I  am  a  little  sentimental  in  calling  all 
you  stalwart  fellows  "^mr,"  but  I  find  this  a  very  difficult  time  to 
practise  any  muscular  Christianity,  and  nothing  but  what  I  feel 
will  suffer  itself  to  be  written  down. 

Ever  your  affectionate, 

E.  W.  Benson. 


Dr  Henry  Sidgwick,  my  father's  second  cousin,  and 
afterwards  his  brother-in-law,  now,  and  since  1883,  Knights- 
bridge  Professor  of  Moral  Philosophy  in  the  University  of 
Cambridge,  thus  writes  of  my  father  in  the  early  days : — 

I  seem  to  remember  him  rosy  and  brown  in  complexion,  with 
great  distinction  of  features,  great  force  and  eagerness  in  his 
manner,  and  abundant  flow  of  talk  when  he  was  in  the  vein. 
One  feature  I  distinctly  recall  as  belonging  especially  to  this 
earlier  time — so  far  as  my  recollection  goes — an  original  and 
inventive  faculty  of  droll  improvisation,  very  wonderful  to  me 
at  the  time ;  never  used  for  display,  but  merely  drawn  out  in  the 
flow  of  what  Tennyson  calls  (in  Arthur  Hallam) 

"Heart  affluence  of  household  talk." 

It  has  all  vanished  from  my  memory,  except  one  specimen  which 
oddly  sticks  there  and  may  suggest  what  I  mean.  He  found  my 
mother  possessed  of  Pinnock's  edition  of  Goldsmith's  History 
of  England,  revised  and  improved  by  the  subsequent  editors, 
Whittaker  and  Taylor.  He  made  fun  of  this  one  evening,  im- 
provising an  imitation  of  the  "  House  that  Jack  built."  There 
was  first  drawn  on  paper  "  y*^  ancient  History  of  England  "  in  an 
indefinite  series  of  volumes.  Then  in  a  single  humble  volume 
was  depicted  the  abridgement : — 

"  Here's  an  abridgement,  milky  and  mild. 
By  Oliver  Goldsmith,  Doctor  styled. 
Of  the  Ancient  History  of  England." 

Then  came 

"  Pinnock  expounded  it,  highly  flown, 
In  an  edition  of  purple  roan. 
Of  the  abridgement,  milky  and  mild,  etc." 

The  last  stanza  was 

"  Then  Taylor  waters  the  flourishing  plant. 
On  whose  various  merits  'twere  vain  to  descant  : 
Viz.  polishing  Whittaker  greatly  enlarged, 
With  revisions,  corrections,  additions  charged. 
Of  the  exposition  so  highly  flown. 
By  Pinnock  put  forth  in  purple  roan,  etc.  etc." 

All  mere  domestic  drollery,  but  produced  with  a  spontaneity  and 
what  the  Germans  call  "Ausgelassenheit "  that  used  to  characterise 

B.  I.  10 

146       REMINISCENCES— HENRY  SIDGWICK     aet.  23-29 

his  talk  in  those  early  years  when  he  was  in  good  spirits  :  in  later 
years,  I  have  only  seen  it  when  he  was  playing  with  children,  and 
therefore  was  less  literary. 

At  this  time,  and  during  the  whole  of  the  Rugby  years  that 
followed,  his  literary  gifts  seemed  to  me  very  remarkable,  and  his 
literary  taste  dominated  mine  more  than  any  other  taste  has  ever 
done  before  or  since.  And  even  now,  looking  back  upon  his  life, 
it  seems  to  me  that  the  one  side  of  his  intellect  which  was  not 
adequately  developed  by  circumstances  was  the  literary  side.  I 
think  the  keenness  and  subtlety  of  his  appreciation  of  literary  effects 
and  qualities,  and  the  vitality  and  individuality  of  his  manner  of 
expression,  were  calculated  to  make  him  impress  his  age  as  a 
writer,  if  his  energy  had  not  always  been  so  much  absorbed  in 
other  directions.  Practice  would  have  subdued  to  an  attractive 
flavour  a  certain  oddity  in  turns  of  thought  and  phrase  which 
actually  remained  a  fault— though  to  me  a  "dulce  vitium"— of  his 
style.  And  he  certainly  had  the  infinite  capacity  for  taking  pains 
which  has  been  said  to  constitute  genius  :  one  of  the  prominent 
characteristics  of  my  memory  of  him  in  this  early  time  is  the 
energy,  resource,  attention  to  minute  details,  which  he  threw  into 
everything — even  the  smallest  things — which  he  took  up. 

I  was  taught  scholarship  at  Rugby  by  two  first-rate  scholars, 
Charles  Evans  and  Thomas  Evans,  the  latter  in  his  way  a 
consummate  translator  of  classical  poetry :  but  neither  of  them 
rivalled  E.  W.  B,  in  the  power  of  removing  the  veil  of  strangeness 
and  remoteness  that  tended  to  hide  the  classical  mind  from  the 
English  schoolboy,  by  flashes  of  vivid  and  delicate  insight, 
spontaneous  sympathy,  unlaboured  aptness  of  phrase.  I  recall 
an  instance  of  this  in  my  own  case  belonging  to  this  early  period 
(185 1 -2).  He  had  kindly  offered  to  give  me  advice  and  help  by 
letter  from  Cambridge.  I  was  struggling  with  the  Oedipus 
Colonei/s :  and  I  was  ambitious  of  understanding  Sophocles  in  a 
literary  way  and  not  merely  grammatically.  I  felt  that  I  sometimes 
caught  his  point,  but  more  often  missed  it :  e.g.  I  perceived  the 
poetry  of  the  chorus  EmTTTrov  feVe  and  translated  it  into  indifferent 
rhymes  :  but  "Oo-rts  toC  ttXcovos  /xe'pous  I  could  make  nothing  of : 
I  only  half  understood  it,  and  what  I  understood  seemed  to  me 
dreary  prose.  I  wrote  and  told  my  failure  to  him,  thinking  he 
might  say  something  that  would  help  me.  What  I  did  not  expect 
was  to  receive  from  him  as  I  did  in  a  day  or  two  a  translation  of 
the  whole  into  simple  prose,  carefully  close  to  the  Greek,  but  with 

1852-1858    REMINISCENCES— HENRY  SIDGWICK         147 

English  sufficiently  choice  in  its  simplicity  to  elevate  the  whole 
piece  at  once  into  poetry  for  me.  I  cannot  remember  it — prose 
rarely  adheres  to  my  mind :  but  I  shall  never  forget  the  delight 
with  which  I  received  it, 

"Whoever  desireth  the  longer  portion 
To  live,  etc." 

and  the  sudden  burst  of  sympathy  with  the  gloomy  sentiment 
of  the  chorus  which  it  communicated  to  me. 

In  the  summer  of  this  year  we  both  went  to  Rugby.  By  his 
advice,  my  mother  had  arranged  in  the  winter  of  185 1-2  that 
I  should  enter  the  school  after  the  summer  holidays  in  1852: 
it  was  not  till  some  months  later  that  he  received  the  offer  of 
a  mastership.  I  may  mention  that  it  was  through  his  advice 
that  my  mother  was  persuaded  to  disregard  what  she  knew  to 
have  been  her  husband's  determination  not  to  send  his  sons 
to  any  of  the  public  schools,  on  the  ground  of  fear  of  their 
moral  tone.  She  was  persuaded  that  there  had  been  a  great 
change  in  the  moral  tone  of  public  schools  since  the  time  that 
my  father  received  the  information  on  which  his  resolution  was 
based :  and  as  the  work  of  Arnold  was  thought  to  have  had  a 
leading  part  in  this  moral  change,  the  selection  of  Rugby  was 
natural.  During  the  first  year  at  Rugby  (1852-3)  I  was  in 
C.  Evans'  house,  and  E.  W.  B.  was  in  lodgings  on  the  Dun- 
church  Road.  Though  successful  in  the  school  work,  I  was  not 
altogether  happy  in  the  life  of  the  house :  he  let  me  come  and 
talk  to  him  when  I  liked,  and  his  little  room  on  the  Dunchurch 
Road  was  the  place  where  I  was  happiest.  His  sympathy  at 
this  time— indeed  at  all  times,  but  this  was  when  I  felt  most 
need  of  it — was  eminently  wise  and  tactful  in  its  restraint ;  he 
encouraged  one  to  face  difficulties  of  conduct  with  manly  inde- 
pendence and  repressed  egotistic  whinings,  yet  not  so  as  to  make 
one  feel  any  want  of  sympathy  ;  if  his  help  was  really  needed,  he 
would — however  busy — throw  his  mind  into  the  question  with  an 
energetic  concentration  of  interest  in  it,  and  give  a  clear  decision 
after  full  and  careful  consideration. 

I  think  that  some  kindly  and  sympathetic  people  are  less 
helpful  as  counsellors  to  others,  from  want  of  a  habitual  and 
versatile  interest  in  the  details  of  practical  matters.  They  are 
always  liable  to  be  bored  by  the  detail  of  their  own  affairs,  and 
therefore — even  supposing  them  to  love  their  neighbours  as  them- 

148       REMINISCENCES— HENRY  SIDGWICK     aet.  23-29 

selves,  so  far  as  humanity  is  capable  of  this — they  are  similarly 
bored  with  the  detail  of  their  neighbours'  affairs :  thus,  though 
their  heart  is  right,  they  cannot  get  the  machine  of  their  intellect 
to  work  effectively  on  the  mimitiae  of  other  people's  needs.  It 
always  seemed  to  me  that  it  was  the  opposite  quality  in  your 
father — the  keen  enjoyment  he  always  seemed  to  have  in  the 
practical  detail  of  his  own  life  and  business — which,  combined 
with  his  ready  and  versatile  sympathy,  made  him  so  helpful  and 
delightful  as  a  counsellor. 

In  the  summer  of  1853  my  mother  came  to  live  in  Rugby, 
and  E.  W.  B.  took  up  his  abode  with  us  at  the  "Blue  House" 
on  the  Newbold  Road.  I  was  not  his  pupil,  and  he  only 
occasionally  took  the  Sixth  Form  for  the  Headmaster,  so  that 
I  am  less  able  to  speak  of  his  work  as  a  schoolmaster  than  many 
others  :  on  the  other  hand,  through  his  talk  in  home  life,  his 
readings  aloud,  etc.,  his  advice  and  stimulus  abundantly  given 
tete-d-tcte,  his  intellectual  influence  over  me  was  completely 
maintained.  Also  he  once  or  twice  admitted  me  to  voluntary 
classes  formed  for  extra  reading  with  his  pupils.  The  impression 
that  I  thus  gradually  formed  of  his  qualities — as,  growing  from 
fifteen  to  seventeen,  I  became  naturally  more  competent  and  more 
inclined  to  form  an  independent  critical  judgment — I  will  briefly 
put  down. 

As  a  scholar,  I  came  to  think  that  he  was  not  quite  so 
accurate  and  sound  as  he  was  subtle  and  ingenious :  and  his 
knowledge  of  historic  facts  was  liable  to  curious  lapses  at  times. 
(This  appeared  in  ordinary  conversation  sometimes,  especially 
when  quantitative  accuracy  was  in  question.)  Nor  do  I  re- 
member being  impressed  with  philosophic  breadth  in  his  historical 
knowledge.  But  here,  as  in  other  matters,  his  grasp  of  concrete 
details  in  any  matter  that  he  studied  with  us  or  for  us  was 
remarkably  full,  close  and  vivid  :  and  his  power  of  communicating 
his  own  keen  and  subtle  sense  of  the  literary  quality  of  classical 
writings,  and  also  of  using  them  to  bring  the  ancient  world  lifelike 
and  human  before  our  minds,  was  unrivalled.  In  these  points 
I  felt  that  the  occasional  lessons  he  gave  the  Sixth  far  surpassed 
any  other  teaching  I  had  at  Rugby — or  indeed  afterwards.  I 
remember  that  a  single  incidental  lesson  which  he  gave  on  the 
Birds  of  Aristophanes,  dramatizing  the  fun  for  us  with  play  of 
voice  and  gesture,  simply  showed  me  how  to  read  Aristophanes. 
I    remember  another    lesson    on    Tacitus,    which    illustrates 


another  gift  of  his.  He  was  not  in  the  habit  of  introducing 
"edifying"  remarks  either  in  lessons  or  in  ordinary  secular  talk. 
I  think  he  fully  appreciated  the  dislike  that  an  average  schoolboy 
has  of  attempts  to  edify  him,  when  he  feels  that  the  attempts  are 
made,  if  I  may  say  so,  in  cold  blood.  But  he  did  occasionally 
let  the  deeply  religious  view  of  the  world  and  life  that  was 
habitual  to  him  flash  out  impressively  and  suggestively.  At  the 
end  of  the  lesson  I  refer  to,  after  making  us  feel  the  gloomy 
indignation  of  Tacitus  at  the  corruption  of  his  times,  he,  closing 
the  book,  reminded  us  how  the  Founder  of  the  religion  that  was 
destined  to  purify  the  old  civilised  world  was  at  this  very  time  on 
earth.  It  was  only  a  couple  of  sentences,  but  I  remember  going 
away  startled  into  a  reverent  appreciation  of  the  providential 
scheme  of  human  history  which  was  not  soon  to  be  forgotten. 

He  was  a  great  believer  in  the  close  and  minute  study 
of  language  that  was  in  his  time  specially  characteristic  of 
Cambridge  scholarship :  at  the  same  time,  he  was  fully  alive 
to  the  shortcomings  of  this  method  of  studying  ancient  authors — 
as  tending  to  interfere  with  the  appreciation  of  broad  literary 
effects— unless  supplemented  by  wider  reading  in  a  more  literary 
attitude  of  mind.  He  would  impress  on  me  that  after  reading 
a  play  minutely,  for  the  full  understanding  of  every  word  and 
phrase,  I  ought  to  put  it  aside  and  read  it  again  after  an  interval 
in  order  to  feel  its  dramatic  meaning  and  movement. 

I  have  dwelt  on  those  sides  of  E.  W.  B.'s  intellectual  influence 
which  I  felt  myself  drawn  to  emulate.  There  was  another  charac- 
teristic that  I  admired  but  felt  myself  incapable  of  emulating.  I 
was  inobservant  and  bookish  (in  a  bad  sense) ;  he  was  an  alert 
and  keen  observer  of  men  and  things  around  him,  "  not  incurious 
in  God's  handiwork  "  or  in  man's,  having  a  strong  natural  bent  to 
penetrate  and  understand  the  "go  of  things,"  as  Maxwell  used  to 
call  it,  and  thus — with  a  retentive  memory — continually  acquiring 
curious  and  interesting  information  on  a  variety  of  subjects. 

My  recollection  of  his  conversation  at  this  time  naturally  blends 
with  later  memories.  He  was  brilliant  and  entrainant  in  talk, 
when  social  duty  called  for  it,  or  when  he  was  in  the  vein ; 
but  sometimes  silent  and  abstracted  in  domestic  life,  though  not 
unsympathetically  so — except  in  transient  moods  of  vexation. 
For  his  temper  was  not  completely  under  control  at  this  period 
of  his  life.  Indeed  his  chief  defect  as  a  schoolmaster  lay  in 
occasional  violence  in  dealing  with  disciplinary  problems  :   not  due 

I50       REMINISCENCES— HENRY  SIDGWICK     aet.  23-29 

to  personal  resentment — I  remember  no  instance  of  this— but  to 
indignation  at  some  apparent  transgression  of  duty,  passing  too 
rapidly  to  stern  repression  or  punishment  without  sufficiently 
listening  to  explanations,  or  weighing  excuses.  I  only  remember 
one  conspicuous  example  of  this,  when  he  raised  a  transient 
rebellion  in  "  Big  School,"  but  I  seem  to  have  heard  of  minor 
manifestations  of  the  same  temper  in  dealing  with  pupils.  But  I 
ought  to  add  that  I  never  heard  him  accused  of  hardness  in 
enforcing  the  rules  he  thought  necessary :  his  normal  handling  of 
them  was  thoroughly  sympathetic  and  considerate  to  individuals : 
only  there  were  transient  flashes  of  severity,  in  excess  of  what  tact 
and  judgment  would  have  prescribed. 

I  mention  this  defect,  because  I  think  he  must  have  conquered 
it  by  steady  effort  as  life  went  on.  I  have  heard  something  of 
it  in  Wellingtonian  stories  :  but  I  never  heard  a  hint  of  anything 
of  the  kind  during  his  career  as  Bishop  and  Archbishop.  Indeed 
in  the  later  years  of  his  life  I  was  much  struck  with  the 
completeness  with  which  he  seemed  to  have  moulded  the  original 
masterfulness  of  his  nature,  impatient  of  being  crossed,  into  a 
supple  and  elastic  firmness,  adapting  itself  easily  to  the  diversities 
of  opinions  and  prejudices  through  which  it  had  to  make  its  way, 
and  veiled  by  the  unfailing  courtesy  and  winning  sympathetic 
attention  with  which  he  listened  to  the  multitude  of  people  whom 
he  allowed  to  claim  his  time.  Had  it  not  been  for  the  manifest 
vigour  and  clear  decision  with  which  he  dealt  with  the  problem  of 
the  Lincoln  case — recognised  as  one  of  unsurpassed  difficulty 
and  danger  to  the  Church — I  think  his  work  as  Archbishop  might 
even  have  been  judged  by  outsiders  to  have  the  defect  opposite  to 

The  fact  is,  that  even  in  these  earlier  times,  his  masterfulness 
was  combined  with  remarkable  adaptability :  his  quick  sympathy 
and  intellectual  ingenuity  and  resource  rendered  him  singularly 
capable  of  fitting  his  ways  and  talk  to  different  persons  and  his 
plans  to  different  circumstances.  He  might  be  transiently  irritated 
by  unexpected  obstacles ;  but  he  liked  the  intellectual  process  of 
getting  over  or  round  them,  as  a  man  likes  any  work  for  which  he 
is  gifted. 

Also,  in  reading  over  what  I  have  said  of  his  defect,  I  see  that 
I  may  have  produced  a  false  impression.  The  outbreaks  of  rash 
anger  of  which  I  have  spoken  were  extremely  rare :  for  instance,  I 
never  remember  one  towards  myself  personally.    His  unquestioned 

1852-1858    REMINISCENCES— CANON  MADDISON        151 

rule  over  my  mind  was  not  in  the  least  maintained  by  fear :  he 
was  remarkably  free  from  any  felt  maintenance  of  dignity  and 
superiority  of  position,  in  his  converse  as  master  with  boys  :  his 
lessons  were  lessons  at  which  one  felt  at  ease ;  his  teaching  was 
eminently  sympathetic  and  in  his  talk  he  put  himself  on  a  level 
with  those  he  talked  to.  When  I  did  what  he  advised — in 
matters  outside  the  school  regulations — it  was  not  from  awe  of 
him  and  fear  of  blame,  but  from  a  conviction  that  he  was  right 
and  a  desire  to  be  like  him.  I  remember  that  in  my  last  year 
at  school  the  Headmaster  wanted  me  to  go  up  for  the  Balliol 
Scholarship :  it  was  a  tradition  at  Rugby  that  promising  boys 
were  to  compete  for  this.  I  talked  to  E.  W.  B.,  he  carefully 
abstained  from  deciding  and  said  it  was  for  me  to  choose.  But  I 
knew  he  was  enthusiastic  in  his  affection  for  Trinity :  and,  though 
the  distinction  of  the  Balliol  Scholarship  tempted  me,  I  felt  I 
must  go  to  Trinity,  and  refused  without  hesitation. 

I  went  up  to  Cambridge  in  October  1855  :  but  still  for  the 
first  half  of  my  undergraduate  time  his  influence  over  me  was 
stronger  than  that  of  anyone  else.  I  saw  him  in  vacations,  at 
Rugby  and  Cambridge — when  he  came  up  for  some  days — and 
talked  to  him  about  my  work :  I  had  no  other  ideal  except  to  be 
a  scholar  as  like  him  as  possible.  Then,  in  my  second  year  at 
Cambridge,  I  began  gradually  to  fall  under  different  influences, 
which  went  on  increasing  till  I  was  definitely  enlisted  as  an 
"Academic  Liberal."  As  this  led  inevitably  to  a  profound  change 
in  my  relation  to  E.  W.  B.,  I  may  conveniently  conclude  my  early 
reminiscences  at  this  point. 

Mr  Maddison,  Priest  Vicar  and  Prebendary  of  Lincoln, 
writes : 

I  became  acquainted  with  Dr  Benson  in  the  autumn  of  1858, 
when  he  was  Master  of  a  Form  in  the  Middle  School  at  Rugby 
called  "Upper  Middle  Division  2."  I  had  been  put  up  along 
with  a  few  other  boys,  from  the  form  below  at  the  quarter's 
examination,  and  having  come  as  a  new  boy  at  the  beginning  of 
the  half,  I  had  not  yet  fallen  into  school  ways,  and  felt  nervous 
at  finding  myself  under  what  seemed  to  me  a  rather  formidable 
master.  He  was  formidable  certainly  to  the  idle  and  careless, 
and  he  had  not  learnt  then  to  "suffer  fools  gladly";  he  was 
impatient   of  stupidity.     But   there  was   a  wonderful   power   of 


teaching.  "Stimulating,"  perhaps,  best  expresses  his  method. 
He  interested  us  in  our  work.  His  quotations  from  English 
literature  made  us  turn  to  books  we  never  might  have  opened. 
I  recollect  the  fate  of  Milo,  occurring  in  the  lesson,  made  him 
ask  us  if  we  ever  read  Byron's  Ode  to  Napoleon  Buonaparte^  and 
I  can  hear  him  now  reciting  the  verse  "He  who  of  old  would 
rend  the  oak";  and  again,  when  a  boy  was  translating  Ovid's 
"  Uror,  et  in  vacuo  pectore  regnat  amor,"  and  everyone  whom 
he  asked  rendered  "vacuo"  "empty,"  "void"  or  "vacant,"  I 
remember  his  saying  the  exact  equivalent  was  in  Midsutnmer 
Nighfs  Dream,  and  then  beginning  "  That  very  time  I  saw,  but 
thou  couldst  not,"  he  paused  when  he  had  said  the  words  "in 
maiden  meditation"  and  slowly  moved  his  finger  down  from 
the  head  of  the  form  till  it  reached  me,  who  by  some  chance 
remembered  the  word  "fancy-free,"  and  marked  head  that  day 
in  consequence.  Years  after,  he  told  me  how  difficult  he  found 
it  to  keep  so  large  a  form  in  motion,  and  to  give  those  in  the 
lower  part  a  chance  of  rising,  as  naturally  most  of  the  questions 
were  intercepted  before  they  reached  the  tail  end,  and  with  the 
system  of  "taking  places"  a  boy  who  came  up  from  a  lower  form 
and  was  put  at  first  at  the  bottom,  might  remain  a  long  time  there 
before  a  lucky  chance  came  in  his  way  of  mounting  higher. 

I  have  said  he  was  somewhat  "formidable,"  and  so  he  was. 
His  eye  would  flash  and  a  grim  severity  gather  round  his  mouth 
if  he  detected  shuffling  or  trickery.  But  he  heartily  appreciated 
a  boy  who  worked,  and  I  think  boys  as  a  rule,  being  very  sensitive 
to  injustice,  are  peculiarly  gratified  by  appreciation.  I  remember 
failing  once  in  my  repetition  of  twelve  lines  of  Ovid,  and  though 
it  was  the  first  time  and  therefore  traditionally  pardonable,  he  gave 
it  me  to  write  out  eleven  times.  (Years  afterwards  I  asked  him 
why  he  fixed  on  such  a  number,  but  he  could  not  tell  me!) 
Being  new  to  Rugby  and  the  ways,  I  wrote  out  my  punishment 
in  very  clear  distinct  writing,  very  different  from  the  usual  scribble 
in  such  cases.  Of  course  I  got  a  good  deal  laughed  at  and  chaffed 
for  it,  but  I  well  recollect  his  look  of  pleasure  as  he  took  the 
lines,  and  his  words  "Your  punishment  is  done  as  a  gentleman's 
should  be." 

A  "  visit"  from  the  Headmaster  was  what  every  form 
was  liable  to,  occasionally,  during  the  half-year,  and  it  was  a  good 
deal  dreaded  by  boys  who  might  be  "put  on"  with  very  inadequate 
preparation,  but  I  can  recall  Dr  Temple's  saying  at  the  end  of 

1853-1858    REMINISCENCES— MR  HENRY  WAGNER     153 

an  inspection  of  our  form — "  Well,  I  always  say  this  is  the  best 
working  form  in  the  school." 

I  never  saw  Dr  Benson  again  till  I  was  examined  by  him  for 
Priests'  Orders  in  1869  at  Riseholme.  I  felt  at  first  much  as  I 
had  done  in  "Upper  Middle  2,"  but  I  soon  found  that  there  was 
no  cause  to  do  so.  All  shyness  and  nervousness  vanished  before 
his  cordial,  pleasant  accost,  and  he  seemed  to  my  eyes  so  softened 
in  manner  that  I  wondered  I  had  ever  felt  afraid  of  him. 

Mr  Henry  Wagner,  one  of  my  father's  Rugby  pupils, 
writes  thus  about  him  : — 

He  was  young  in  those  days,  and  still  more  youthful  in 
appearance.  Berdmore  Compton  tells  in  all  seriousness  how, 
when  he  called  upon  him,  the  servant  reported  that  a  boy — sup- 
posing him  to  be  in  the  school — had  been  asking  for  him.  To 
me  and  I  suppose  to  many  of  even  my  juniors  it  was  a  great 

One  recalls  a  beautiful  face  above  a  large  white  tie  and  much 
shirt  front,  his  quick  walk  and  head  I  think  a  little  on  one  side. 
You  will  know  that  he  was  quick-tempered  to  a  degree  that 
imperilled  his  influence.  I  have  heard  from  others  in  later  days  of 
the  beautiful  transmutation  of  that  temper  into  forceful  directness 
and  energy.  As  regards  your  father's  "  ways "  with  his  pupils, 
his  readings  of  the  Georgics  with  us  first  woke  in  one  an  interest 
in  literature.  When  he  discoursed  to  one  on  English  compo- 
sition, and  the  rhythm  there  should  be  in  English  sentences, 
which  were  subject  to  as  much  rule  as  our  Latin  verse,  he 
was  giving  me  wholly  new  ideas.  And  he  advised,  by  way 
of  addition  to  the  usual  holiday  task,  a  careful  reading  of  a 
Waverley  or  two— with  a  special  view  to  style  and  composition. 
He  soon  discovered  my  ignorance  of  English  poetry,  and  I  re- 
member his  cruelty,  as  I  thought,  rebuking  me  publicly  "at 
tutor"  for  not  knowing  Shelley's  Skylark. 

With  regard  to  my  father's  way  of  dealing  with  his 
boys,  an  old  pupil  of  his  writes : — 

During  my  first  year  at  Rugby  I  committed  a  grave  fault : 
if  it  had  been  known,  it  would  have  ineffaceably  damaged  my 
reputation  at  school,  and  some  disrepute  would  have  hung  about 
me  probably  for  some  years  afterwards.     I  was  not  sure  that  I 

154  REMINISCENCES— DEAN  BRADLEY      aet.  23-29 

ought  not,  for  reasons  that  I  need  not  explain,  to  make  public 
confession  of  it.  After  bearing  the  burden  of  this  doubt  for  some 
time,  I  confided  in  him  and  said  that  I  would  do  what  he  thought 
right.  He  dealt  with  the  matter  in  a  manner  which,  when  later 
on  in  life  I  thought  over  it,  always  impressed  me  as  most  wise. 
I  think  it  probable  that  he  decided  at  once  that  there  need  be  no 
confession  :  but  he  did  not  say  so.  He  discussed  the  matter  with 
a  mixture  of  severity  and  affection — with  a  dominating  sense  of 
right — which  was  both  bracing  and  calming :  said  that  it  was  my 
duty  to  others  as  well  as  myself  not  to  do  myself  the  injury  which 
confession  would  do,  unless  justice  required  it :  but  that  if  justice 
required  it,  it  must  be  done  unfalteringly :  he  questioned  me 
closely  and  said  he  would  think  the  matter  over.  Then  for  a  few 
days  he  said  nothing.  My  anxiety  was  great,  but  it  was  no  longer 
the  miserable  selfish  anxiety  of  the  preceding  days.  I  could 
contemplate  my  determination  to  do  what  he  advised  in  the 
manlier  spirit  of  readiness  to  perform  a  clear  duty  at  any  cost. 
Then,  after  not  too  long  delay,  he  gave  his  decision  :  and  then, 
for  the  first  time,  pressed  home  the  religious  aspect  of  my  dere- 
liction from  duty  in  the  brief,  but  intensely  penetrating  manner 
which  characterised  his  private  talk  on  these  matters.  The 
impression  left  on  my  mind  of  his  combined  wisdom,  severity 
and  gentleness  in  dealing  with  a  practical  moral  problem,  was 

The  Dean  of  Westminster  writes : — 

I  can  still  see  your  father  before  me,  as  he  was  when  I 
first  knew  him.  He  was  cast  in  a  different  mould,  and  trained  in 
a  different  school,  to  my  other  colleagues,  and  I  might  add  to 
myself;  I  had  learned  much  in  various  ways  at  Rugby  from  men 
of  such  marked  and  varied  individuality  as  Bonamy  Price,  dear 
G.  E.  L.  Cotton,  George  Kennedy,  Richard  Congreve,  Theodore 
Walrond,  Thomas  Evans,  Charles  Evans,  and  my  much  loved 
friend  Principal  Shairp ;  but  your  father  was  unhke  them  all. 
Without  a  touch  of  narrowness  he  already  took  a  keen  interest 
in  and  showed  a  remarkable  knowledge  of  Church  History  in 
earlier  ages,  and  in  sacred  art;  and  familiar  as  I  had  been  at 
Oxford  with  friends  who  were  devout  followers  of  the  leaders 
of  what  has  since  been  called  the  Oxford  Movement,  he  gave 
me  quite  a  new  aspect  of  views  and  hopes  and  interests  in  Church 
matters.    I  cannot  give  the  date,  but  I  remember  that  in  a  sermon 

1852-1858      REMINISCENCES— DEAN  BRADLEY  155 

he  preached  on  the  re-opening  of  the  old  Church  his  text  was  from 
the  Apostles'  Creed,  "  I  believe  in  the  holy  Catholic  Church."  I 
feel  nearly  certain  that  it  was  at  Rugby,  and  before  he  left  for 
Wellington  College,  that  he  spoke  to  me  with  enthusiasm  of 
his  deep  interest  in  St  Cyprian's  life  and  work.  I  need  hardly 
say  that  we  found  many  subjects  of  talk  even  in  that  busy  life, 
and  he  soon  became  quite  at  home  in  our  small  home  circle ; 
saluted  always  by  the  name  of  "  Benny  "  by  our  first-born,  then  a 
little  boy,  born  in  1850.  Two  young  girls,  as  they  then  were,  his 
cousin,  afterwards  his  wife,  "Minnie  Sidgmck"  ("Benny's  Minnie," 
as  our  little  boy  called  her,  to  distinguish  her  from  his  mother, 
whom  he  often  heard  addressed  by  the  same  familiar  name),  and 
his  sister  Ada  Benson,  both  dear  friends  to  us  in  the  then 
unforeseen  future,  were  often  with  us — both,  I  think  I  am  right 
in  saying,  his  pupils  in  "  Classics." 

As  time  went  on  he  became,  I  need  hardly  say,  one  of 
the  most  valuable  and  valued  of  our  masters  :  and  to  myself 
above  all  after  the  loss  by  his  removal  to  St  Andrews,  of  John 
Shairp,  the  very  closest  and  dearest  of  all  my  friends  at  Rugby. 
We  repeatedly  took  our  exercise,  riding  or  walking  together, 
riding  more  often.  I  can  see  him  now  on  a  largish  roan  pony 
with  a  "  hogged  "  mane  and  short  tail,  riding  by  my  side  for  our 
short  but  delightful  "  skirmishes  "  over  the  great  green  grass  lands 
round  Rugby. 

In  one  holiday  ride  with  him,  beyond  Newbold,  towards 
Leicestershire,  he  took  me  to  see  his  dear  friend,  the  future 
Bishop  Lightfoot,  who  was  occupying  the  Parsonage  and  hard 
at  work  as  a  student.  It  was  the  first  time  that  I  ever  saw 
Lightfoot,  and  I  remember  remarking  the  singular  contrast  be- 
tween the  upper  and  lower  part  of  his  striking  face. 

But  the  time  of  my  own  farewell  to  Rugby  was  drawing  near, 
and  in  this  my  young  and  much  loved  colleague  took  a  part 
which  I  have  never  forgotten.     May  I  tell  the  story? 

Dr  Cotton  was  appointed  early  in  1858  to  the  Bishopric  of 
Calcutta,  and  was  to  leave  Marlborough  in  the  coming  summer. 
Who  was  to  succeed  him  ? — I  knew  that  he  and  some  others 
wished  for  myself  to  undertake  the  post,  an  exceedingly  responsible 
and  onerous  one.  I  was  still  and  had  always  been  barely  equal  to 
my  Rugby  work,  had  been  repeatedly  warned  that  it  was  doubtful 
how  long  I  could  stand  the  strain  which  it  exacted.  I  could  not 
therefore  feel  that  I  ought  to  accept,  even  if  the  way  lay  quite 

156  REMINISCENCES— DEAN  BRADLEY      aet.  24-29 

open,  a  post  in  which  my  own  failure  might  bring  failure  on  a 
school  which  was  not  yet  lifted  out  of  innumerable  diflEiculties  and 
dangers.  I  therefore  declined  to  think  of  it,  but  I  wrote  to 
Cotton  dwelling  on  the  singular  gifts  and  promise  of  Benson,  and 
obtained  his  leave  to  speak  to  him  on  the  subject.  I  remember 
as  a  thing  of  yesterday  my  walking  down  to  Mrs  Sidgwick's, 
seeing  him  in  a  room  on  the  right  hand  of  the  entrance,  and 
opening  the  subject  to  him.  I  shall  never  forget  the  result.  The 
sweet  yet  dignified  countenance  of  my  dear  young  friend  (I  was 
at  least  six  years  his  senior  and  had  from  time  to  time  been 
consulted  as  such  by  him)  assumed  a  look  which  I  had  never 
seen  [it  wear.  "  You  ought  to  go  yourself,"  he  said,  "  you  and 
no  one  else.  It  is  your  clear  duty.  I  for  one  shall  think  the 
worse  of  you  for  life  if  you  don't." 

I  was  sorely  startled — his  voice  woke  perhaps  some  answering 
voice  within  me — but  I  could  not  speak  at  once.  I  was  silent, 
and  he  went  on  and  begged  me  to  reconsider  the  whole  matter. 
He,  he  said,  would  collect  any  testimonials  needed,  but  go  I 
must.  I  need  say  no  more  than  that  I  left  him  at  once  and  took 
a  long  walk  through  the  fields  to  the  planks  across  the  Avon, 
pondering  his  words.  They  bore  fruit  and  I  wrote  to  Bishop 
Cotton,  and  undertook,  if  the  call  was  made  clear  by  the  post 
being  practically  offered  me  by  the  Governors  of  the  School 
at  his  instance,  to  face  the  work  and  leave  Rugby. 

My  twelve  and  a  half  years  of  work  at  Marlborough  followed. 
But  for  your  father's  strong  and  clear  language  I  should  never 
have  faced  it.  It  was  his  very  gentleness  and  sweetness  that 
gave  such  an  overpowering  force  to  an  unlooked-for  rebuke. 

Before  a  year  had  fully  passed  after  my  leaving  Rugby,  came 
two  marked  events  :  his  own  appointment  to  the  Headmastership 
of  Wellington  College  was  the  first.  "Strange,"  I  remember 
saying  to  him,  "  that  you  whose  interest  lies  so  strongly  in 
Ecclesiastical  History,  should  be  called  on  to  preside  over  a 
school  of  soldiers'  sons :  I,  who  have  so  often  bored  you 
with  the  Civil  War  in  England,  and  with  Napier's  Peninsular 
War,  and  Thiers's  Consulate  and  E7npire,  should  be  at  work 
at  a  school  founded  for  the  sons  of  clergy  and  thronged  with 
boys  reared  in  country  parsonages."  But  it  was  doubtless  wisely 

The  second  event  was  his  marriage  in  1859.  He  announced 
his  engagement  in  words  which  I  have  never  forgotten  and  which 

1854-1859    REMINISCENCES— MR  H.  LEE  WARNER      157 

came  back  to  me  when  I  went  to  see  your  dear  mother  in  the 
interval  between  his  death  and  funeral  in  October  last: — "You 
and  Mrs  Bradley  must  hear  from  me  first  of  all  that  '  Benny's 
Minnie '  is  to  be  '  Benny's  Minnie '  indeed." 

Of  his  relations  with  his  younger  pupils  at  Rugby, 
Mr  H.  Lee  Warner,  afterwards  a  Rugby  master,  said,  in  a 
lecture  not  long  after  my  father's  death  : — 

Never  shall  I  forget  August  24,  1854,  when,  as  a  timid  boy  of 
twelve,  fresh  from  a  Norfolk  parsonage  where  I  had  only  been 
taught  by  my  father,  as  green  as  such  a  bringing  up  would  leave 
me,  eager  for  more  sight  of  life  and  shrinking  from  my  first 
plunge,  I  was  introduced  to  my  first  sight  of  him.  I  found  a 
young  man,  with  a  countenance  more  like  my  idea  of  the  St  John 
of  Italian  painters  than  anything  else,  eager,  perhaps  impatient, 
full  of  affection  and  sympathy,  whose  business  it  was  in  those 
days  when  Temple  was  still  unknown,  and  entrance  examinations 
had  not  been  thought  of,  to  find  out  what  form  I  was  fit  for.  He 
soon  made  up  his  mind.  I  was  set  a  piece  of  the  Medea  to 
translate,  six  verses  about  a  drop  of  dew  to  do,  and  I  was  placed 
Upper  Middle  I.  to  the  astonishment  of  my  elder  brother,  who 
had  just  told  me  I  should  be  in  the  lower  school.  From  that 
moment  the  care  he  took  of  me  was  just  like  that  of  an  elder 
brother,  with  more  discrimination.  He  would  call  me  up  after 
tutor  lessons  if  he  saw  that  his  impatience  had  frightened  me,  and 
make  it  up ;  he  would  stop  me  in  the  Quad  and  give  me  advice 
if  he  thought  I  was  loafing ;  he  would  come  into  my  study  to  do 
extra  verses  or  other  work  with  me ;  he  would  ask  me  to  his 
lodgings  or  his  house  and  fill  my  mind  with  stories  of  his  college 
days,  memories  of  Rugby  which  he  picked  up  as  if  he  had  been 
an  old  Rugbeian  himself,  side-lights  on  the  work  we  were  doing 
in  Form,  which  made  everything  seem  doubly  interesting.  His 
resources  were  endless.  One  day  he  discovered  that  I  had 
unfortunately  acquired  a  reputation  which  cost  my  own  learning 
dear,  of  being  able  to  give  good  "  Construes."  He  made  me 
promise  to  give  no  more,  stuck  up  a  notice  in  the  house  to 
say  I  had  given  a  promise,  appealing  to  the  honour  of  the 
"swells,"  who  in  those  days  before  Temple  and  before  super- 
annuation mustered  largely  in  the  Lower  Middles,  not  to  force 
me.     Another  time  he  discovered  that  at  home  I  had  never  read 

158    REMINISCENCES— MR  H.  LEE  WARNER   aet.  25-29 

a  novel  except  some  of  Walter  Scott's.  He  made  one  of  the 
Sixth  responsible  for  my  reading,  and  I  was  forthwith  introduced 
to  Yeasf,  to  be  followed  soon  after  by  Martifi  Chuzzlewit.  He 
looked  at  my  note-books,  and  would  rewrite  bits  in  them  in  a 
handwriting  that  seemed  never  to  suffer  from  haste.  And  with  all 
this  there  was,  to  use  his  own  phrase  in  a  later  address  to  school- 
masters, no  "  taint  of  sickliness  in  his  sympathy,  no  want  of  salt 
in  his  love."  I  felt  him  to  be  a  strong  man,  so  that  I  marvelled 
the  more  at  his  affectionateness.  I  have  seen  him  commit  grave 
mistakes  in  his  discipline.  Once  he  threatened  to  kick  a  boy 
downstairs :  on  another  occasion  he  caned  a  boy  without  giving 
him  time  to  explain ;  but  on  each  occasion  he  publicly  expressed 
his  sorrow,  so  that,  chastened  himself,  he  more  than  recovered  his 
position.  He  was  young  in  those  days,  and  we  were  all  young 
together.  Boys  will  forgive  everything  in  a  good  man  if  he  is 
natural.  If  he  ruled  occasionally  with  the  scourge  of  the  tongue, 
he  was  never  cynically  sarcastic.  And  to  hear  him  translate  The 
Apology  of  Socrates  or  read  his  "  Fair  Copy  "  in  crisp  old  English 
of  passages  of  Herodotus,  on  which  we  had  just  tried  our  prentice 
hands,  was  a  treat,  even  for  the  Lower  Fifth. 


"  rprj^fl ,   nXX'   ayadrj   KOvpoTp6<^os"      HOMER. 

The  site  chosen  for  Wellington  College  was  a  very- 
attractive  one  ;  it  was  a  land  of  heather  and  Scotch  firs  on 
the  outskirts  of  the  old  domain  of  Windsor  Forest,  not  far 
from  Wokingham,  and  in  the  parish  of  Sandhurst.  Houses 
have  since  sprung  up  in  all  directions  in  the  neighbourhood, 
so  that  it  is  hard  for  anyone  who  visits  the  place  now 
to  realise  how  lonely  and  secluded  a  spot  it  was.  The 
College  itself  was  built  upon  a  rising  ground,  with  a  wide 
view  to  the  South  over  a  tract  of  heather  in  which  stood 
some  brick  kilns  with  smoky  tops.  On  either  side  of  this 
little  plain  the  ground  rose  to  two  steep  sandy  hills.  Edge- 
barrow  on  the  East  and  Ambarrow  on  the  West,  both 
covered  with  Scotch  firs.  The  beauty  of  the  former,  which 
has  since  been  added  to  the  College  estate,  is  considerably 
spoilt  by  the  erection  thereon  of  a  large  reservoir  of  water 
for  College  purposes.  Ambarrow  however  was  and  is  still 
a  particularly  graceful  hill,  the  top  of  which  was  crowned 
with  a  large  ring  of  ancient  firs,  that  made  a  knoll  of 
foliage  above  the  smaller  trees  that  clothed  its  sides.  My 
father  was  greatly  devoted  to  the  aspect  of  the  hill — "  I 
often  ask  myself,  who  am  I,"  he  said,  pointing  to  Ambarrow, 

i6o  THE    RIDGES  aet.  30 

to  Professor  Mason,  then  a  Master  at  Wellington,  as  they 
were  returning  from  Chapel  on  the  morning  of  All  Saints' 
Day,  "that  I  should  be  able  to  look  at  tJiat,  every 
morning  ? "  The  College  estate  was  bordered  on  the 
North  by  Hennican's  Lodge  ^  and  Easthampstead  Park, 
on  the  West  by  Mr  John  Walter's  large  estate  of 
Bearwood,  and  on  the  South-west  by  a  place  originally 
belonging  to  a  Mr  Gibson,  called  Sandhurst  Lodge ; 
between  the  last  two  estates  the  road  climbed  a  high 
heathery  plateau  called  the  Ridges,  with  an  exquisite  view 
over  the  richly  wooded  and  watered  plain  of  Hampshire, 
extending  to  Hindhead.  Under  the  Northern  slopes  of 
the  Ridges,  past  a  charming  piece  of  water  called  Heath 
Pool,  ran  an  ancient  Roman  Road  called  the  Devil's 
Highway,  which  climbed  the  hill,  and  joining  the  Ridges 
Road,  passed  through  the  little  village  of  Finchhampstead, 
and  descended  into  the  flat  to  Eversley. 

The  Ridges  was  my  father's  favourite  walk  because  of 
the  fine  air  and  wide  prospect.  I  well  remember  one  long 
summer  afternoon  spent  up  there  with  him,  and  my  mother 
and  brother ;  we  found  some  rude  pottery,  which  proved 
to  be  British,  in  a  plantation  that  had  been  recently 
trenched,  we  geologised  in  a  gravel-pit,  and  he  then  read 
us  Gareth  and  Lynette,  which  had  lately  appeared,  as  we 
lay  on  the  heather. 

But  the  great  charm  of  the  place  was  the  pine 
wood  on  the  East  of  the  College.  You  could  step  out 
of  the  College  gates  and  walk  for  hours  among  the  red- 
shafted  aisles,  with  the  soft  carpet  of  fir  needles,  in  roads 
of  grey  sand,  with  the  wind  rustling  in  the  thick  foliage  at 
the  top.  Inside  the  wood  near  Edgebarrow  was  a  little 
house  called  the  honey-woman's  cottage,  with  a  formal 
garden   and   box  hedges  ;    just  beyond  this  was  a  tract 

^  Now  Ravenswood. 


planted  with  large  spruce  firs,  an  avenue  called  by  my 
father  the  "Eternal  Calm"  because  on  the  windiest  days 
it  was  peaceful  there.  The  air  of  the  whole  place  was 
always  singularly  fresh  to  his  mind,  "  charged  with  ozone  " 
and  laden  with  the  aromatic  scent  of  the  firs,  and  in 
summer  blowing  sweet  over  tracts  of  heather.  When  we 
returned  from  our  holidays,  I  remember  how  he  used  to 
breathe  the  air  and  praise  it. 

To  the  North  of  the  College  there  was  a  marsh,  which 
was  made  into  three  lakes,  and  fitted  for  bathing  purposes. 
The  place  was  carefully  laid  out  and  planted ;  rhodo- 
dendrons flourished  greatly,  and  the  main  approach  to  the 
College  was  planted  with  huge  beds  of  them,  flanked  by  an 
avenue  of  Wellingtonias,  a  suggestion  of  Mr  Menzies,  the 
Deputy  Ranger  of  Windsor  Forest  and  a  great  friend  of 
my  father's.  At  one  time  these  trees  seemed  doomed  to 
failure  from  the  inveterate  habit  of  birds  perching  on  the 
thin  topmost  spray.  This  my  father  obviated  by  having 
poles  of  slightly  greater  height  fixed  close  to  the  trunks, 
and  they  are  now  fine  grown  trees. 

The  College  originally  consisted  of  two  courts,  in  the 
Louis  Ouatorze  style,  of  brick  with  stone  facings,  flanked 
by  two  high  towers  with  lead  roofs  which  gave  a  stately 
aspect  to  the  whole.  Professor  Munro  said  that  the  place 
reminded  him  of  a  Spanish  convent.  One  of  the  then 
unused  dormitories  was  fitted  up  as  a  Chapel.  The 
Master's  Lodge  was  in  the  North  front  of  the  College, 
over,  and  on  each  side  of,  the  principal  entrance.  It  had 
a  small  walled  garden  to  the  East,  with  a  rockery  of 
broken  carvings  from  the  stoneyards,  overlooked  by  a  tall 
chimney  vomiting  smoke,  very  terrible  to  childish  minds. 

In  the  early  days  of  the  College  the  Prince  Consort 
often  came  over  to  see  it,  and  suggested  numbers  of  little 
details   both    for   use   and    ornament.     One   story  I    may 

B.  I.  II 

1 62  OPENING  OF  WELLINGTON  COLLEGE     aet.  30 

perhaps  mention.  At  the  North-east  corner  of  the  College 
stands  a  group  of  poplars.  The  Prince  Consort,  accom- 
panied by  the  Prince  of  Wales,  then  a  boy,  had  driven  over 
from  Windsor  ;  Prince  Albert  was  walking  about  looking 
at  the  College :  at  the  corner  he  stopped  and  said,  "  You 
want  some  tall  trees  there — poplars  I  think  " — and  dug  his 
walking-stick  into  the  ground  five  or  six  times.  My  father 
said  to  a  workman  who  was  with  them,  "  Put  some  marks 
into  those  holes,"  which  was  done,  and  the  poplars  planted 
on  the  identical  spots. 

The  College  was  opened  in  1859  by  the  Queen  in 
person ;  there  were  about  eighty  boys,  Foundationers, 
sons  of  officers,  "  Heroum  Filii "  as  the  motto  says.  They 
wore  an  odd  dark-green  uniform,  with  brass  buttons,  plaid 
trousers,  and  a  cap  like  a  postman's  with  red  lines  and 
a  gilt  crown  in  front.  This  was  a  suggestion  of  the  Prince 
Consort's,  who  disliked  the  Academic,  or  Ecclesiastical, 
dress  that  remained  at  certain  English  Schools,  as  being 
"  a  badge  of  their  monastic  origin."  The  uniform  was 
soon  given  up,  and  the  cap  has  since  lost  its  peak,  and 
is  seldom  worn.  The  death-blow  was  dealt  to  the  uniform 
when  Lord  Sackville  Cecil  ^  and  the  Hon.  A.  W.  Charteris 
had  tickets  given  up  to  them  at  the  station. 

The  College  was  ornamented  in  a  stately  manner  with 
bronze  busts  of  famous  soldiers,  and  at  each  end  of  the 
main  wings,  in  external  niches,  stood  life-sized  figures 
of  great  generals  such  as  Anglesey,  Combermere,  Hill, 
Murray,  Bliicher,  and  others,  from  whom  the  dormitories 
were  named. 

Dr  Temple  came  from  Rugby  to  see  the  start,  and  to 
render  any  assistance  that  he  could.  The  grounds  were 
still  unformed,  and  all  down  the  front  drive  where  the 
rhododendrons  now  stand,  the  heather  which  had  been  cut 

1  Died  Jan.   1898. 

i859  THE   FIRST   CANDIDATE  163 

lay  in  great  bundles  tied  up  ready  for  removal.  Dr 
Temple,  noticing  that  the  boys  were  hanging  about  rather 
listlessly,  started  a  kind  of  Steeplechase  down  among  the 
bundles,  and  the  two  Headmasters,  leading  the  way  and 
jumping  the  piles  of  heather  with  coatskirts  flying,  were 
followed  by  the  boys. 

My  father  used  often  to  tell  the  story  of  how  Dr  Temple, 
who  came  to  help  him  to  arrange  the  school  in  January, 
1859,  was  perplexed  where  to  place  the  first  boy  he  called 
up,  and  examined  as  to  his  acquirements.  Number  i  of 
the  Heroum  Filii  was  eleven  years  of  age.  "Well,"  said 
Dr  Temple,  "  come  and  tell  us  what  you  know."  The  boy 
had  a  fat  oval  face  with  ruddy  cheeks  and  always  spoke 
with  a  strong  Scotch  accent  in  a  whining  tone  of  voice.  At 
this  invitation  he  scented  mischief,  and,  being  canny,  hung 
down  his  head  and  said  nothing.  "  You've  learned  a  little 
Greek,  I  daresay  ? "  said  Temple  suggestively,  "  No,  Sir, 
I  don't  think  I've  learned  any  Greek,"  he  murmured. 
"Well,  Latin,  then — Latin  Delectus,  Latin  Grammar.?" 
"  No,"  said  the  boy,  emboldened  by  his  success  in  disclaim- 
ing Greek,  "  I  don't  think  I've  learned  any  Latin  !  "  "  Did 
you  ever  do  any  Algebra  or  Euclid  .-* "  "  Never,  Sir,  never 
heard  of  'em  ! "  "  Well,  Arithmetic,  then  ? "  "  I'm  not  sure. 
Sir,  that  I  know  any  Arithmetic."  "  But  you  know  some 
History  and  Geography  ?  "  "  No,  Sir,  I  don't  think  I  know 
either."  "  But  you  know  j-^ot^//;/;/^!  "  cried  Temple,  aghast. 
"You  must  have  been  taught  sometJiing  at  your  last 
school  ?  "  "  I'm  no  sure,  however,"  rejoined  the  boy,  "  that 
I  know  anything."  "There  is  nothing  for  it,"  said  Dr 
Temple,  "the  first  of  our  Heroes'  Sons  must  be  placed  in 
the  lowest  form,  by  whatever  name  it  is  to  be  called  and 
however  low  its  standard."  And  with  this  inauspicious 
commencement  my  father  began  his  "seminary  of  sound 
learning  and  religious  education." 

1 64  LONELINESS  OF  THE  SITUATION     aet.  30-35 

The  very  first  day  an  odd  incident  occurred.  About 
three  in  the  morning  my  father  was  awakened  by  voices 
and  the  tramping  of  many  feet,  and  looking  out,  it  being 
a  bright  moonHght  night,  saw  the  boys  coming  out  into 
the  court.  Visions  of  a  rebelHon  flashed  across  his  mind, 
and  he  hurriedly  dressed  and  went  down,  and  discovered 
that  the  boys  had  taken  the  bright  moonlight  for  day,  not 
having  a  watch  among  them,  and  had  cheerfully  dressed  and 
gone  down  so  as  to  be  certain  of  being  in  time  for  school. 

Some  idea  of  the  loneliness  of  the  place  may  be 
formed  from  the  fact  that  when  the  surveyors  came 
down  to  survey  the  ground  for  the  College,  Mr  Gibson's 
shepherd,  who  was  herding  cows  by  the  marsh,  now  the 
lakes,  on  seeing  them  drove  all  his  cows  home  :  on  being 
asked  why  he  had  done  so,  he  replied  that  he  had  seen 
a  man.  On  being  further  asked  why  after  so  terrible 
a  portent  he  had  brought  the  cows  back,  he  replied  that 
it  was  to  keep  him  company.  The  whole  district  was  the 
chosen  haunt  of  gypsies.  On  one  occasion,  when  we  were 
children,  we  found  a  family  of  nomad  children  walking 
in  the  woods,  accompanied  by  three  white  cats  stalking 
solemnly  in  front  of  them. 

How  domestic  a  party  the  boys  were  at  first  may 
be  gathered  from  the  fact  that  every  evening  after  the 
evening  service,  my  mother,  then  a  sedate  matron  of 
eighteen,  used  to  shake  hands  with  each  of  them  and  wish 
them  good  night. 

My  father  kept  a  large  scrap-book  at  Wellington 
College  into  which  he  fastened  designs,  plans,  pictures, 
newspaper  cuttings  and  heterogeneous  materials  inter- 
spersed with  a  Diary  very  irregularly  kept.  In  this 
Diary,  on  March   19,  1862,  he  writes: — 

To-day  I  took  Professor  Kingsley  to  look  at  the  Chapel,  after 
the  boys'  dinner  was  over,  during  which  he  had  been  chatting 

1859-1864  VISITS    OF   THE    QUEEN  165 

hard  and  devising  all  manner  of  plans  for  improving  the  geological 
collection.  I  pointed  out  to  him  the  Foundation-stone  which  was 
still  standing  up  out  of  the  brickwork '.  He  went  up  and  leaned 
over  it  quite  bent  for  a  few  moments — and  then  took  off  his  hat 
to  it,  and  when  he  rose  the  tears  were  raining  down  his  cheeks. — 
It  was  I  think  a  fervent  prayer  for  the  place  and  Requiem  for  the 
beloved  Prince  too. 

The  Queen  did  not  visit  the  College  after  the  opening 
for  nearly  six  years  ;  the  following  is  nny  father's  account 
of  her  next  visit,  which  was  private  : — 

Nov.  ^th,  1864.  The  Queen  paid  a  private  visit  to  the 
College.  The  first  since  she  opened  it  on  Jan.  29,  1859.  She 
seemed  to  be  in  good  health  and  in  good  spirits,  but  was  a 
good  deal  overcome  when  she  visited  the  Foundation-stone,  tears 
streaming  down  her  cheeks.  Her  questions  were  well  put  and 
showed  real  interest.  She  stayed  in  the  Chapel  some  time  and 
expressed  her  intention  of  sending  a  photographer  to  take  the 
interior  well.  She  desired  me  to  forward  for  her  the  photographs 
which  I  had  of  the  capitals,  and  hoped  prefects  did  not  punish 
boys ; — at  Harrow  they  did  so  too  much ;  at  Eton  the  masters 
did  not  know  enough  of  the  boys.  Went  to  Murray  Dormitory 
which  was  in  process  of  cleaning,  whereat  she  smiled  as  having 
caught  the  establishment  not  in  perfect  order, — laughed  a  good 
deal  at  the  confectioner's  shop  being  viewed  as  a  necessity, 
imagining  boys  might  do  without  sweet  things ;  disapproved  of 
arm  chairs.  Asked  for  every  name  and  moved  _to  every  boy 
pleasantly  in  6th  and  5th  forms,  looked  well  at  the  boys  in 
great  school,  moving  freely  about  and  looking  well  in  their  faces 
motherly- wise.^In  the  house  \von  our  hearts  by  asking  for 
our  two  boys  and  kissing  them  heartily  on  both  cheeks — oddly 
had  forgotten  that  it  was  by  her  own  desire  that  our  ugly  uniform 
remains,  saying  "  she  believed  that  the  uniform  had  long  ago  been 
given  up."  The  warm  bright  day  made  all  moving  about  pleasant 
both  in  and  out  of  doors.  The  Queen  was  still  in  the  deepest 
mourning.  Just  as  she  drove  off  she  asked  for  a  week's  holiday 
for  the  boys,  "  if  it  is  approved — if  it  is  quite  approved." 

It  is  impossible  here  to  trace  the  steps  by  which  the 
school  grew  and  prospered.     It  soon  outgrew  its  original 

^  This  had  been  laid  by  the  Prince  Consort,  who  died  Dec.  14,  1861. 

1 66  AUTOCRACY  aet.  30-44 

design — in  fact  my  father  had  contrived  to  alter  that  before 
he  began  his  work  there, — and  began  to  rank  as  one  of  the 
greater  English  public  schools.  Such  had  been  my  father's 
wish  all  along,  and  he  assiduously  attempted  to  cultivate 
scholarship  and  to  win  University  distinctions ;  being  most 
anxious  that  the  school  should  not  merely  become  a  kind 
of  military  academy  for  Army  preparation.  In  this  he 
succeeded,  and  at  the  end  of  his  time  boys  were  winning 
University  Scholarships  every  year,  though,  perhaps,  with 
the  exception  of  Dr  Verrall,  he  did  not  send  out  any 
scholar  of  absolutely  first-rate  eminence. 

His  energy  at  Wellington  was  certainly  immense; 
when  he  first  went  there  all  the  questions  connected 
with  the  estate,  and  with  commissariat,  food,  and  domestic 
arrangements,  were  in  the  hands  of  a  Secretary  and 
a  Steward,  who  were  not  responsible  to  the  Headmaster, 
but  only  to  the  Governors.  Such  a  dual  control  fretted 
my  father  to  the  utmost,  as  his  nature  was  always  auto- 

Eventually  he  resolved  that  the  entire  control  of  the 
College  arrangements  must  be  in  his  own  hands :  he 
drew  up  a  manifesto  upon  the  subject,  and  sent  it  to  the 
Governors,  being  fully  prepared  to  resign,  and  half  ex- 
pecting to  be  asked  to  do  so — when  to  his  surprise  his 
proposals  were  adopted  in  every  point.  The  occasion  was 
signalised  by  remarkable  omens,  which,  in  spite  of  my 
father's  frequent  expressions  of  scorn  for  the  discussion 
of  semi-psychical  phenomena,  he  took  a  singular  pleasure 
in  recounting.  The  flagstaff  was  blown  down,  but  replaced 
by  his  orders,  against  the  remonstrances  of  the  Steward, 
and  seven  wild  swans  appeared  upon  the  lake. 

One  of  the  Masters  was  then  appointed  Bursar,  but  my 
father  kept  a  close  eye  upon  all  the  expenditure,  and  in- 
spected the  books  from  time  to  time. 

1859-1873  BURSARIAL   REFORM  167 

Mr  Charles  Spencer  Smith,  who  was  chief  of  the 
Bursarial  staff  at  Wellington  College,  writes  : — 

In  1867  Dr  Benson  succeeded  in  prevailing  upon  the  Gover- 
nors to  transfer  to  him  the  domestic  management  of  the  College, 
whereupon  I  became  chief  accountant.  I  must  confess  that  I 
was  inexperienced  and  had  much  to  learn.  The  position  was 
the  more  difficult  because  almost  all  the  account-books  and 
papers  of  previous  years  had  been  removed. 

Thus  left  to  make  a  start  as  best  we  could,  questions  arose 
from  day  to  day  upon  which  instructions  were  needed.  The 
Bursar  was  also  new  to  his  work,  and  his  reply  more  often  than 
not  was  "Really,  Mr  Smith,  I  don't  know — you  must  ask  the 
Master" — who  never  said  he  didn't  know.  He  always  faced  the 
knotty  points  at  once  and  in  such  a  way  that  they  took  the 
required  shape  and  order.  A  great  worker  himself,  he  understood 
the  art  of  delegating  and  of  getting  work  out  of  others;  so 
much  so  that  on  more  than  one  occasion  human  nature  within 
me  has  rebelled.  But  his  gracious  manner  instantly  brushed 
these  promptings  aside ;  the  task  was  done,  and  so  appreciative 
was  he  that  a  strong  desire  possessed  me  to  have  even  more  to 
do.  To  be  thanked  in  his  generous  and  kindly  way  was  to  me 
an  experience  most  pleasing  and  stimulating.  If  I  may  sum  up 
my  experience  of  him  as  a  man  of  business,  I  would  say  he  was 
masterful,  full  of  resource,  thorough,  systematic,  and  punctual, 
and  of  a  most  genial,  sympathetic  and  appreciative  temperament. 
It  was  my  great  good  fortune  to  serve  under  him  at  Wellington 
nearly  six  years  without  a  jarring  note,  but  I  once  witnessed  the 
administration  of  a  very  severe  rebuke  to  another  and  rejoiced 
over  my  own  immunity. 

The  Headmaster,  besides  teaching  the  Sixth  Form, 
examined  the  school  regularly  and  rigorously.  He 
was  very  hospitable  and  entertained  his  neighbours 
frequently.  He  preached  every  Sunday  in  the  Chapel  ; 
and  finding  that  he  was  somewhat  losing  his  hold  on 
ecclesiastical  studies,  he  took  up  the  subject  of  Cyprian 
for  his  own  private  reading.  His  work  began  for  years 
by  half-past  six  and  seldom  ceased  till  after  midnight. 
He  had  a  most  vigilant  eye  for  detail.     Nothing  escaped 

1 68  THE   CHAPEL  aet.  30-44 

him — a  door  open  that  should  have  been  shut,  a  bread- 
crust  on  the  gravel,  a  cap  in  the  court,  he  noted  it  all. 

After  the  death  of  the  Prince  Consort,  the  Earl  of 
Derby  became  President  of  the  Governors.  His  kindness, 
interest  and  good  sense  made  a  very  strong  impression  on 
my  father's  mind.  There  are  preserved  many  letters  which 
passed  between  them  at  this  time,  which  testify  to  the 
marvellous  patience  and  sympathy  with  which  Lord  Derby 
was  ready  to  consider  any  question,  however  detailed  or 
insignificant  it  might  appear  to  others.  One  of  the  leading 
Governors  and  Vice-President  of  the  Governing  Body, 
was  the  late  Colonel  Talbot,  afterwards  Sir  Wellington 
Talbot,  K.C.B.,  Serjeant-at-arms  of  the  House  of  Lords  ; 
his  devotion  to  the  interests  of  Wellington  College  was 
undoubted,  but  his  judgment  did  not  always  coincide  with 
my  father's. 

One  of  the  first  things  the  Headmaster  did  as  the 
revenues  of  the  school  increased,  was  to  represent  to  the 
Governors  the  need  of  a  School  Chapel.  He  pointed  out 
that  the  school  was  in  receipt  of  a  large  annual  income, 
and  that  a  dignified  and  beautiful  Chapel  played  a  great 
part  in  the  sentiment  and  the  corporate  life  of  the  place. 

In  order  to  give  a  practical  basis  to  his  proposal,  he 
mentioned  that  several  of  his  private  friends  were  prepared 
to  guarantee  substantial  subscriptions. 

The  Governors  assented,  and  Mr  Gilbert  Scott  was 
selected  to  prepare  plans,  the  consideration  of  which  was 
a  task  thoroughly  congenial  to  my  father.  He  had  been 
delighted  at  Rugby,  when,  at  his  initiative,  the  Chapel  was 
being  partially  restored,  at  getting  a  letter  addressed  to  him 
as  "  Mr  Benson,  Builder,  Rugby,"  and  he  threw  himself 
with  intense  enjoyment  into  the  architectural  details  of 
the  new  Chapel,  which  was  of  brick  in  the  Early  English 
style.     One  mistake  was  made,  in  defiance  of  my  father's 

1859-1873  THE    CHAPEL  169 

strongly  expressed  wish ;  no  provision  was  made  in  the 
Chapel  for  future  possible  expansion  ;  consequently  when 
the  school  increased  in  later  years,  one  side  of  the  Chapel 
had  to  be  taken  down  and  a  wide  aisle  constructed,  with 
the  seats  rising  in  tiers.  The  result  is  that  the  interior 
had  an  inevitably  irregular  and  undignified  appearance 
to  those  who  remembered  the  severe  lines  of  the  original 
building  \  A  most  careful  plan  was  laid  down  for  the 
windows,  and  as  one  after  another  was  presented,  they 
were  filled  by  Hardman-  with  glass  designed  under  the 
close  criticism  and  fertile  suggestion  of  my  father.  Some 
of  them  are  difficult  enough  to  identify.  But  my  father 
liked,  as  he  used  to  say,  not  to  make  them  too  easy — 
to  give  the  boys  something  to  puzzle  out.  In  one  of 
his  later  Diaries  he  notes  that  on  a  visit  to  Wellington, 
he  found  to  his  great  amusement  that  he  had  forgotten 
some  of  the  subjects,  and  was  himself  completely  baffled. 

In  1 861  the  Chapel  was  in  the  course  of  erection  ;  the 
Prince  Consort  took  the  greatest  interest  in  the  work. 
My  father  wrote  : — 

Ofth  Nov.  The  Prince  Consort  rode  over  from  Windsor.  I 
was  too  unwell  to  go  out  with  him — but  after  visiting  the  works 
of  the  Chapel  he  came  to  see  me. 

My  father  then  pointed  out  to  him  that  owing  to  a 
desire  for  economy  the  Chapel  was  being  built  too  small, 
which  would  lead  to  over-crowding,  discomfort,  and  bad 
order  among  the  boys : — 

He  is  very  acute  and  saw  the  point  at  once  of  every  require- 
ment for  the  boys'  good  order. 

A  correspondence  on  these  lines  followed  between  the 

Headmaster  and   Mr  Scott,  but  economy  prevailed,  and 

the  next  entry  in  the  Diary  is  the  Headmaster's  account 

^  The  South  aisle  is  now  undergoing  a  similar  reconstruction,  as  a  memorial 
to  my  father,  which  restores  symmetry. 

'  The  Western  rose- window  is  by  Lusson,  of  Paris. 

I70  DIARY— GOVERNORS'   MEETING       aet.  30-44 

of  the   meeting  of  the  Governors  which  dealt  with  the 

point : — 

wth  November,  1861.  Arriving  somewhat  late  from  Great 
Western  at  House  of  Lords,  I  found  the  Governors  assembled, 
and  business  begun.  Mr  Scott  had  given  up  the  question,  and 
had  sent  in  plans  showing  two  additional  bays.  Lord  EUenborough ' 
had  forgotten  all  that  had  been  so  long  settled,  and  as  I  entered 
the  room  he  was  saying,  with  his  great  white  head  bent  sideways 
over  the  table,  in  his  deep  voice,  "  Oh,  the  whole  thing  is  wrongly 
arranged — half  the  boys  looking  at  the  other  half!  and  the  masters 
all  by  themselves!"  I  explained  that  the  Junior  Master  and 
Master  of  week  would  sit  at  the  other  (East)  end,  but  that  the 
arrangement  he  described  was  precisely  what  I  wished,  on  grounds 
of  taste  and  of  custom,  as  well  as  that  the  boys  arranged  in  only 
three  rows  would  be  under  all  eyes  in  a  natural  manner  without 
forced  or  marked  inspection.  That  the  confidence  which  this 
tacitly  expressed  would  like  all  confidences  be  rewarded  by  the 
boys'  trustworthiness,  and  the  behaviour  be  better  on  the  whole, 
than  if  the  boys  felt  that  they  were  expected  to  behave  ill,  and 
were  accordingly  watched,  even  if  they  were  watched  ever  so  well. 
My  object  was  to  create  no  special  opportunities  for  playing  pranks, 
(which  would  be  created  by  crowded  or  unseparated  benches,)  and 
having  done  this  to  use  few  checks  besides,  to  treat  misconduct  in 
that  place  as  an  offence  against  the  congregation  and  not  as  against 
Masters.  Lord  EUenborough  was  positive — "  The  proper  way  is  to 
put  all  the  boys  facing  one  way  and  place  the  masters  about  among 
them,  facing  the  other  way,  and  then  you  will  keep  order" — and 
turning  to  the  Duke  of  Cambridge  on  his  right,  he  said  "What 
should  you  think.  Sir,  of  putting  your  troops  all  by  themselves, 
and  the  officers  all  by  themselves?" — To  which  the  Duke  could 
say  nothing  but  "Well,  it  isn't  the  way  zve  do  it,  certainly."  The 
"Etonian  phalanx  mustered  strong  to-day"  as  Mr  Cox  observed, 
and  these  all  thought  the  whole  floor  might  be  covered  with  boys 
and  dotted  with  masters.  This  however  was  of  course  never 
intended  at  Eton,  and  the  scandals  of  the  place  are  known. 
Colonel  Talbot  I  heard  say  to  Lord  Derby  sotto  voce  that  he 
^'cou/d  not  understand  my  objections."  However  the  Prince 
stood  up  for  me  manfully  and  quoted  College  Chapels  learnedly, 

1  Formerly  Governor-General  of  India,  and  in  1858  President  of  the  Board 
of  Control. 

1859-1S73  DIARY— CHAPEL  171 

and  I  showed  how  it  had  been  all  along  my  plan,  and  only 
altered  by  the  architect.  Then  Lord  Redesdale',  looking  in  his 
buff  waistcoat,  blue  coat,  gilt  buttons,  pumps  and  white  tie,  for 
all  the  world  like  a  decent  serving-man,  recommended  a  transept. 
And  the  tide  seemed  setting  that  way  to  Scott's  dismay  and 
mine.  But  Lord  R.  has  a  happy  knack  of  urging  something 
very  strenuously,  and  then  retiring  to  the  fire  with  a  paper — and 
so  his  cause  went.  However  I  must  do  him  the  justice  to  say 
that  he  said  he  would  rather  give  ^100  than  have  the  Chapel 

spoilt,     A was  of  course  inclinable  to  the  last  speaker,  but 

more  still  to  the  greatest.  I  was  longing  that  the  motto  on  the 
clock  "O  si  sic  omnia"  could  command  attention,  when  the 
money  came  in  view  and  brought  a  calm.  The  Transept  was 
too  expensive,  the  two  bays  were  too  expensive.  So  the  Prince 
said  quietly,  "I  think  you  had  better  compromise  it  and  accept 
one  bay  with  four  rows  of  seats  throughout."  I  assented,  seeing 
I  should  get  no  more.  But  I  know  plenty  of  room  is  the  one 
thing  needed  for  good  order  in  a  school  Chapel. 

On  Aug.  6th  he  gives  his  account  of  the  carving  of  the 
capitals  of  the  pillars  of  the  external  arcade  : — 

Aug.  dth.  The  Chapel  is  up  to  the  top  of  the  brick  mouldings 
all  round  the  windows.  The  round  window  is  in  organ-house. 
The  walls  and  pillars  of  Antechapel  are  done.  The  carving  of 
four  or  five  bays  of  south  side,  outside,  in  arcade  under  windows, 
and  two  bays  of  the  arcade  of  apse  are  done.  Easternmost  all 
sacred  flowers.  The  rest  characteristic  of  soil.  The  heaths  and 
fox-glove  at  my  request  specially,  as  well  as  Osmunda,  Polypodium, 
Water-lily.  The  names  of  the  carvers  principally  at  work  on  the 
more  delicate  flowers  are  Bingley  and  Butcher.  They  are  of 
Farmer's  firm.  Bingley  is  a  remarkably  intelligent  man  with 
great  zeal  of  knowledge  and  happy  conceit.  The  men  came  to 
execute  conventional  carvings  only,  and  began  at  the  S.E.  corner 
outside  in  this  style.  I  argued  with  Bingley  that  the  convention- 
ality of  his  work  was  a  mere  weakness,  and  that  while  balancing 
on  one  side  the  material  he  worked  in  and  the  necessity  for 
strength  in  the  appearance  of  the  caps,  Nature's  own  flowers 
were  the  right  flowers,  and  that  it  ought  to  be  his  pride  to 
make  the  Chapel  look  as  if  it  were  a  child  of  the  soil.  The 
flowers  he  worked  from  should  be  the  flowers  which  grow  here. 

1  For  many  years  Chairman  of  Committees  of  tht  House  of  Lords. 

172  A   SEEMLY   RITUAL  aet.  30-44 

I  instanced  heather  as  a  difficult  problem  but  proper  to  be  solved. 
He  went  away  to  London  and  saw  Mr  Scott  and  enquired  whether 
he  was  to  comply  with  my  wish  or  to  follow  his  first  instructions, 
and  he  returned  to  tell  me  triumphantly  that  Mr  Scott  said  he 
was  in  all  respects  to  do  what  I  wished,  and  therefore  he  was 
prepared  to  set  to  work.  After  this  as  I  gave  him  flower  by 
flower  to  work  upon  he  grew  more  pleased,  and  often  came  to 
work  in  a  morning  with  a  dozen  sketches  which  he  had  made 
overnight  of  possible  treatments.  The  heather  was  the  most 
difficult,  but  he  overcame  it  by  his  clever  combination  with  the 
fox-glove.  On  Saturdays  he  went  home  to  London  and  often 
brought  me  on  Monday  morning  his  studies  made  in  Kew 
Gardens  on  the  Sunday  afternoon.  Many  offered  themselves 
without  difficulty;  one  of  the  new  ones  is  a  group  of  fir-cones. 
The  identical  cones  from  which  they  were  copied  I  picked  up 
in  one  of  my  earliest  walks  in  1859  to  Caesar's  Camp  with  my 
wife,  and  brought  them  home  telling  her  that  I  should  some- 
day have  them  carved  on  the  Chapel.     Nothing  like  Faith. 

In  the  Antechapel  are  none  but  such  plants  as  grow  in  wild 
or  desert  places,  out  of  the  Church, — thorns,  brambles,  also  the 
Fig  and  the  Apple  which  are  emblems  of  our  Fall.  Over  the 
Archway  is  a  Maple  spray  with  the  Joy  of  Loves  therein. 
Within  are  rich  and  glorious  plants — and  in  every  window  may 
be  seen  the  significance  of  the  plant  in  symbol  of  the  subject  of 
the  window  according  to  my  list.  In  the  Apse  every  capital  has 
special  relation  to  the  window:  i.e.  to  the  Ascension,  Evergreens, 
Water-lily  (Baptism),  Pomegranate  (Heaven's  Treasure),  Maple 
(Power  of  Keys). 

The  ritual  of  the  Chapel  was  of  the  most  careful  but 
unostentatious  kind.  My  father  would  not  have  a  pulpit, 
as  interfering  with  the  austerity  of  the  narrow  building, 
and  the  sermons  were  preached  from  a  small  brass  desk 
set  out  on  the  chancel  steps.  The  arcades  round  the 
Altar  were  filled  with  mosaics. 

He  was  very  anxious  that  we  as  children  should  have 
a  part  in  these  decorations,  so  we  subscribed  sixpence 
each,  every  sixpence  representing,  as  he  carefully  explained, 
one  tessera  of  gold,  and  bringing  it  still  more  home  to  us 
by  pointing  out  the  exact  pieces. 

1859-1873  THE   WELLINGTON   USE  173 

I  remember  that  he  always  used  a  ChaHce  previously 
mixed,  but  there  was  nothing  that  could  be  called  ritual, 
only  a  beautiful  solemnity  and  decorum.  He  always  wore 
a  full  long  English  surplice,  and  bands.  Everything  was 
precisely  ordered,  down  to  the  smallest  detail. 

To  Rev.  A.  Carr, — Ritual  of  Wellbigton   Chapel. 

May  20,  1 87 1. 

' Hebdomarius ' "  and  'Decessor'^  assist  throughout.  'Prede- 
cessor '  ^  at  administration  only  as  fourth  Minister. 

Senior  Clerk  (by  standing)  reads  Gospel.     Has  2nd  Sedile. 

Epistoller  reads  Epistle  at  South  corner  and  remains  there. 

Gospeller  reads  Gospel  at  North  corner  and  remains  there. 

While  Gospel  is  read  Epistoller  and  Celebrant  turn  to  Gos- 

All  turn  East  when  they  stand  during  Nicene  Creed. 

Ministers  stand  during  Epistle. 

Gospeller  reads  Offertory  from  Gospel  place,  any  one  sentence. 

Celebrant  receives  alms  from  Head  of  School. 

Gospeller  gives  Bread  to  Celebrant. 

Epistoller  gives  Wine  to  Celebrant. 

After  non-Communicants  gone  out,  all  three  resume  same 

Epistoller  reads  long  Exhortation  from  Epistle  place. 

Gospeller  reads  Invitation  "Ye  that  do  truly"  from  Gospel 
place,  and  says  Confession  there,  kneeling  Eastward. 

Celebrant  administers  Bread.  The  Next  Senior  Priest  ad- 
ministers Bread.  The  two  others  Wine,  the  Senior  of  them 
with  the  Celebrant. 

In  Post-Communion  Epistoller  and  Gospeller  remain  at  Gospel 
and  Epistle  places,  and  Fourth  Minister  in  middle  of  Chancel 

Go  up  in  file.  Junior  First, 

Return  in  file,  Senior  First. 

Celebrant  and  Senior  bring  out  Chalice  and  Patens,  and  Third 
brings  out  Alms. 

^  The  Master  on  duty  for  the  week. 

-  The  Master  on  duty  for  the  previous  week. 

^  The  Master  on  duty  for  the  last  week  but  one. 

174  AFTERNOON    CELEBRATIONS         aet.  30-44 

The  Headmaster,  Mr  Penny  says,  had  no  extravagant 
views  of  Churchmanship;  he  did  not  object  to  afternoon 
or  evening  Celebrations  of  the  Communion,  though  in  later 
life  he  felt  very  differently  : — 

On  more  than  one  occasion  I  assisted  him  at  an  afternoon 
week-day  Communion  for  the  College  servants,  which  was  cele- 
brated at  5  p.m.  in  the  autumn  term  as  being  the  most  convenient 
hour  for  all  the  household  to  attend.  And  finding  that  after 
I  had  been  some  years  in  Holy  Orders,  I  had  never  had  an 
opportunity  of  celebrating  the  Lord's  Supper,  he  at  once  arranged 
that  at  the  next  Domestic  Communion  I  should  be  the  Celebrant 
and  he  would  serve  as  Deacon.  My  dear  friend  Arthur  Carr, 
hearing  this,  begged  to  be  allowed  to  join  us  as  EpistoUer  and 
Sub-deacon,  and  accordingly  one  afternoon  at  5  p.m.  by  gaslight 
I  was  Celebrant.  When  all  was  over  and  I  had  finished  the 
Ablution  of  the  vessels  in  the  little  vestry  according  to  Benson's 
rule  and  use,  he  said  to  me  in  a  loud  whisper,  but  so  as  to  be 
heard  by  Carr:  "I  congratulate  you  on  having  celebrated  your 
first  Mass."  At  the  time  the  word  Mass  jarred  upon  my  ears; 
but  in  view  of  subsequent  events  I  think  he  used  it  deliberately 
as  it  is  used  in  the  First  Prayer  Book  of  K.  Edward  VL 

I  subjoin  a  few  extracts  from  the  Scrap-book. 

The  Secretary  wrote  to  say  that  some  plate  had  been 
bought  for  the  use  of  the  Chapel  ;  on  this  letter  my  father 

The  Flagon  was  a  coffee-pot  of  old  design,  the  Paten  a 
modern  tray  on  an  old  stand ;  the  Chalice  indescribable — they 
may  possibly  disappear. 

They  did.     He  adds  : 

April  \']th.  Maundy  Thursday.  Sent  the  Chapel  coffee-pot 
to  Hardman's  to  have  a  decent  Flagon  made  instead  thereof. 

Again  : 

May  i(>th.  On  the  13th  I  sent  Hardman's  this  motto  for  the 
Flagon,  "Vinum  quod  laetificat  Deum  et  Homines,"  and  to  be 
writ  under  the  foot,  "In  Honorem  S.  Caenae  Domini  Dedicant 
Collegium  et  Familia  MDCCCLXII." 

1859-1873  THE   HYMN-BOOK  175 

He  compiled  a  hymn-book  for  the  use  of  the  school 
very  early  in  its  career,  Hymnology  was  always  a 
favourite  study.  Here  he  sedulously  printed  the  original 
texts  of  the  hymns,  only  altering  words  that  were  grotesque 
or  involved  unfortunate  associations,  and  many  quaint 
paraphrases  of  psalms  drawn  from  little-known  collections. 
Several  translations  of  Latin  hymns,  such  as  the  Dies  Irae, 
in  this  volume  are  his  own,  and  several  hymns  are  his  own 
composition,  such  as  "O  throned,  O  crowned,"  "The 
splendours  of  Thy  glory,  Lord,"  and  "Hushed  the  storms." 
The  book  also  contains  Introits  for  the  seasons,  always 
diligently  sung,  and  a  Founder's  prayer  in  memory  of 
the  Great  Duke,  which  was  daily  used.  Some  good 
critics  consider  this  book  a  most  refined  and  interesting 
collection,  though  no  doubt  a  little  esoteric ;  but  that  is 
not  the  general  view. 

What  the  Headmaster  thought  of  his  collection,  is 
shown  by  a  letter  which  he  wrote  more  than  twenty  years 
afterwards  to  Canon  Leigh-Bennett. 

Lambeth  Palace,  S.E. 

March  17,  1885. 

My  dear  Mr  Leigh-Bennett, 

I  thank  you  much  for  your  kind  letter  and  notice  of 
the  Well.  Coll.  Hymn-Book.  The  idea  of  it  which  I  had  in  view 
is  excellently  put  on  your  second  page.  Indeed  the  conception 
of  the  Book  as  you  so  well  put  it  had  been  worked  at  when 
I  was  at  Rugby,  long  before  I  ever  thought  that  it  would  be 
fashioned  into  a  book  for  use  under  my  own  rule.  It  was  the 
defrutum  of  a  great  plan  far  too  ambitious  to  get  beyond  the 
beginnings  of  the  Index,  which  had  to  be  made  first,  of  a 
Thesaurus  which  was  to  contain  all  hymns  and  all  translations 
on  the  outline  of  the  Church  Year.  The  outcome  was  to  be 
a  Prayer  Book  completed  as  Cranmer  wished  to  complete  it, 
while  lamenting  that  his  skill  was  not  sufficient  to  render  the 
hymns.  I  forget  his  very  words — which  were  quaint  and  good. 
The  hymn-book  has  answered  that  end.     I  have  heard  the 

176  LETTER   ON    HYMNOLOGY  aet.  30-44 

most  interesting  stories  of  old  Wellingtonians  separated  by  years 
recognising  each  other  in  the  Himalayas  and  on  board  ship  with 
a  "Why,  you  are  an  O.  W."  from  hearing  the  proper  hymns  for 
the  day  or  season  hummed  over — and  the  other  day  only  I  heard 
of  one  of  the  Somersets  writing  home  to  describe  his  21st  birthday 
in  his  hut  in  the  Bush,  spent  in  singing  the  hymns  and  chants 
nearly  through.  Each  hymn  had  its  fixed  tune,  which  was  to 
rivet  the  whole  more  completely  in  the  memory. 

The  selection  was  made  on  the  idea  of  having  nothing  but 
what  was 

(i)     Good  poetry  or  good  English,  or 

(2)  A  rendering  (the  best  available)  of  really  great  Latin 

The  latter  (2)  had  very  often  to  be  doggerel,  but  they  were  to 
give  a  rough-hewn  idea  of  the  Latin  and  wake  up  an  interest  in 
Vexilla  Regis  or  Aurora  nunc  or  whatever  it  might  be. 

The  Introits  are  those  of  Edward  VL's  first  book  and 
are  almost  always  the  "  most  principal "  Psalm  for  the  day. 
Dr  Goulburn  was  kind  enough  to  let  me  help  him  in  editing 
the  Rugby  Book. 

(I  hope  you  will  look  at  the  last  edition  of  the  Well.  Coll. 
Book,  which  came  out  about  1873  ^^"^  had  Mr  Wickham's 
appendix  added  to  it.  I  think  it  was  the  Third  Edition,  and 
was  enriched  with  some  beautiful  hymns  that  had  appeared  or 
become  known  to  me  in  the  interval.)  Do  forgive  my  writing 
so  long  a  letter  about  such  a  personal  subject,  but  Hymnologia 
was  such  a  dear  matter  to  me  once  and  it  is  so  delightful  to  see 
that  you  have  penetrated  the  thought  of  the  book  which  I  could 
so  imperfectly  carry  out,  and  which  I  believe  to  be  the  real 
liturgical  use  of  hymns,  that  I  have  been  betrayed  into  mere 
egotism.  I  hope  you  are  well.  Don't  regard  the  giving  of  your 
vote  for  your  new  bishop  as  merely  formal.  How  can  it  be,  when 
you  would  all  go  to  prison  and  beyond  it,  rather  than  give  your 
vote  for  a  man  who  ought  not  to  be  nominated  to  you. 

Ever  sincerely  yours, 

Edw.  Cantuar. 

There  was  nothing  in  his  whole  Wellington  life  in 
which  my  father  took  such  constant  delight,  as  the  Chapel 
and  the  Chapel  Service.     Irreverence  was  a  most  serious 

1859-1873  SERMONS  177 

offence.  On  several  occasions  being  dissatisfied  with  the 
responding-,  he  had  the  lower  boys  into  Big  School  and 
rehearsed  them  in  responding  distinctly,  out  of  the  Latin 
Syntax — a  daring  experiment  and  only  made  possible  by 
his  personal  ascendancy. 

It  may  be  noticed  in  passing  that  Wellington  being  a 
College,  my  father  preferred  to  style  himself  not  Head- 
master, but  Master  simply,  in  the  Collegiate  style.  It  so 
appears  on  the  title-page  of  his  sermons,  which  were 
published  by  subscription  as  "  Boy  Life,"  and  the  copy- 
right of  which  was  a  gift  to  him  from  the  Assistant- 
Masters  when  he  left  Wellington  College.  Of  these 
sermons,  my  mother  writes : — 

He  preached  regularly  every  Sunday  morning.  He  used  to 
think  of  the  sermon  during  the  week,  but  he  seldom  actually  put 
pen  to  paper  till  the  first  service  was  over — about  10  o'clock. 
And  he  had  to  preach  the  sermon  at  the  1 2  o'clock  service.  It 
was  terrific  pressure — no  one  was  allowed  to  go  near  the  study. 
There  was  even  a  finality  about  the  shutting  of  the  door  when  he 
went  in  after  Chapel.  It  was  inconceivable  sometimes  that  what 
was  preached  to  us  at  12  should  have  been  created  since  10 — 
but  of  course  it  had  been  simmering  in  his  mind  all  the  week, 
and  came  out  with  a  rush  from  the  pressure  of  necessity — he  had 
often  told  me  that  he  could  not  write  a  sermon  out  in  the  same 
time  that  he  could  compose  atid  ivriie. 

In  the  summer  he  sometimes  wrote  his  sermon  sitting 
at  a  rustic  table  in  a  small  summer-house  that  through  a 
vista  of  larches  commanded  a  view  of  the  heathery  moor- 
land towards  Sandhurst. 

He  had  many  troubles  connected  with  the  religious 
teaching  and  the  Chapel  Services  ;  many  of  the  Governors 
were  not  very  advanced  Churchmen,  and  were  timid  about 
hints  of  Tractarianism.  My  father  was  assailed  both  as  a 
High-Churchman  and  as  a  Latitudinarian.  A  long  letter 
appeared   in   the  Record  in    i860  stating  that  the   Head- 

B.  I.  12 

178  LETTER— TRACTARIANISM  aet.  30-44 

master  of  Wellington  College  had  presented  a  copy  of 
Essays  and  Reviews  to  the  Boys'  Library:  the  Headmaster 
wrote  to  say  that  it  was  the  Masters'  Library  to  which  it 
had  been  presented,  a  room  inaccessible  to  the  boys,  adding 
that  the  nature  of  the  Masters'  profession  made  it  desirable 
that  they  should  study  works  of  very  various  tendencies ; 
the  Editor  replied  that  a  Christian  public  would  certainly 
not  accept  this  evasion. 

It  is  curious  to  note  how  difficult  it  is  at  this  date  to 
define  exactly  his  ecclesiastical  views.  We  find  him  de- 
voted to  Christian  art  and  tradition,  using  ancient  forms  of 
devotion  and  hymns  from  Breviary  and  Missal.  Yet  he 
permits  Evening  Communions  ^  and  simultaneously  shocks 
a  master  by  calling  it  a  Mass :  he  is  at  the  same  time  a 
devoted  friend  of  both  Kingsley  and  Temple, 

A  lady,  who  was  not  satisfied  with  what  she  heard  of 

the  religious  teaching  of  the  place,  sent  her  son  to  spy 

upon  the  chapel  service.     Instead  of  applying  for  a  ticket 

in  the  ordinary  way,  he  contrived  to  get  admitted  to  the 

building,  and  told  his  mother  that  he  had  heard  a  very 

offensive  Tractarian  Sermon,  adding  that  the  teaching  and 

the  services  were  alike  distressingly  High  Church  in  tone  ; 

Mrs  C wrote  to  one  of  the  Governors  on  the  subject, 

who  forwarded  the  letter  to  the  Headmaster,  and  received 

the  following  answer : — 

Wellington  College. 
15  Dec.^  1859. 
My  dear  Sir, 

I   have  to  thank  you  for  sending  me   Mrs  C 's 


The  fear  there  expressed  is,  as  you  know,  groundless. 

As  regards  the  teaching,  it  may  set  Mrs  C 's  mind  at  rest 

to  know  that  the  preacher  whose  views  her  son  (whom  I  saw  at 

1  Mr  Cair  tells  me  that  he  hesitated  about  allowing  this,  but  it  seemed  to  be 
the  only  possible  time  for  the  household.  He  said  to  Mr  Carr,  "  We  must 
not  say  anything  of  this  to  the  Bishop  !  " 

1859-1873  LORD   BEACONSFIELD  179 

Chapel)  considered  to  be  High  Church,  happened  to  be  Air  Charles 
Kingsley,  my  neighbour  and  friend,  whose  name  is  well  known  as 
a  most  strenuous  opponent  of  such  teaching. 

As  regards  the  Service,  there  is  nothing  High  Church  about  it. 
It  is  just  as  usual  in  Colleges  and  in  Schools  such  as  Eton, 
Harrow,  Rugby,  Winchester,  Marlborough;  except  that  their 
Service  is  generally  more  choral. 

You  know  how  anxious  we  are  to  give  no  just  offence.  We 
must  have  system  in  a  school,  where  order  and  discipline  is  every- 
thing ;  but  if  anyone  could  point  out  a  more  unobjectionable 
model  I  should  be  happy  to  follow  it.  I  think  nothing  of  such 
matters  myself,  and  think  it  wrong  and  foolish  to  offend  con- 
sciences by  trifles. 

I  am  myself  neither  High,  nor  Low,  nor  Broad  Church, 
though  I  hear  myself  consigned  by  turns  to  all — as  often  to 
one  as  to  another. 

But  I  find  too  much  to  do  in  bringing  before  boys  the 
weightier  matters  of  honour,  truthfulness,  industry,  obedience, 
mutual  kindness,  ever  to  trouble  myself,  or  them  either,  with 
party  views,  party  questions,  or  party  practices. 

Faithfully  yours, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

Mr  Penny  quotes  my  father's  description  of  Lord 
Beaconsfield  thus  : — 

I  well  remember  Benson's  description  of  the  first  sight  he 
had  of  Gladstone's  great  rival.  Disraeli  had  been  appointed  a 
Governor  of  the  College  in  1863;  but  he  seldom  or  never 
attended  any  of  the  Governors'  ordinary  meetings.  Certainly  he 
never  attended  a  Speech  Day.  But  somewhere  about  this  period 
he  unexpectedly  appeared  at  the  Annual  Governors'  Meeting,  and 
on  his  return  to  the  College,  Benson,  after  telling  me  the  decision 
of  the  Governors  on  the  various  matters  submitted  to  them  by 
our  report,  said  to  me  :  "  Who  do  you  think  attended  on  this 
occasion  amongst  the  Governors?"  "I'm  sure  I  don't  know." 
"  Benjamin."  And  he  described  him  to  me  as  seated  somewhat 
apart  from  the  more  active  members  of  the  Governing  Body, 
plunged  in  deep  thought  as  if  he  had  no  concern  in  what  was 
going  on  around  him,  a  huge  umbrella  between  his  legs  worthy 
of  Mrs  Gamp,  on  the  top  of  which  were  crossed  his  hands  cased 

I  So      THE  SECOND  DUKE  OF  WELLINGTON     aet.  30-44 

in  a  pair  of  ill-fitting  kid  gloves  of  which  the  tops  extended  flatly 
about  half  an  inch  beyond  the  tips  of  his  fingers  and  thumbs ! 
This  was  certainly  the  only  occasion  when  Benson  came  across 
Disraeli  while  Headmaster  of  Wellington. 

In  1870,  when  the  College  had  taken  its  place  among 
the  Public  Schools,  the  second  Duke  of  Wellington  showed 
a  great  interest  in  the  place  ;  for  instance  he  undertook  the 
expense  of  building  large  additions  to  the  Sanatorium. 

I  subjoin  an  amusing  anecdote  of  Mr  Penny's  about 
the  second  Duke  of  Wellington : — 

Soon  after  his  election  as  Vice-President  the  Duke  of  Welling- 
ton was  one  day  in  the  Boys'  Library  and  suddenly  asked  Benson 
whether  there  was  in  it  a  complete  collection  of  the  Old  Duke's 
Despatches  and  Parliamentary  and  Official  Papers.  For  some 
time  past  the  second  series  had  been  coming  out,  a  volume  at  a 
time,  under  his  Grace's  own  supervision.  Benson  was  obliged  to 
confess  that  the  Prince  Consort  had  given  the  first  series  to  the 
College  when  the  Library  was  started,  but  that  the  second  series 
had  never  been  thought  of.  "  Oh,  then  Pll  send  you  them,"  said 
he;  "there  can  be  no  finer  reading  for  a  young  man  who  is 
destined  for  the  Army  or  the  Foreign  Office  than  my  father's 
Papers."  Accordingly  in  a  few  days  all  the  volumes  of  the 
second  series  then  published  were  sent  to  Wellington  and  duly 
placed  in  the  Boys'  Library.  The  next  time  the  Duke  came  he 
brought  his  cousin  Lord  Cowley,  Ex-Ambassador  to  France,  to 
see  the  College.  Benson  took  them  round.  Presently  they  came 
to  the  Boys'  Library,  and  Benson  as  usual  pointed  out  to  Lord 
Cowley  the  Old  Duke's  cloak  and  the  Despatch  from  the 
Peninsula  and  other  sights.  Glancing  over  his  shoulder  he 
observed  the  Vice-President  standing  on  tiptoe  opposite  the 
book-case  containing  his  recent  gift,  just  tilting  down  the  tops 
of  the  books,  volume  by  volume,  to  see  if  they  had  been  at  all 
read  by  the  boys.  Alas !  not  a  page  had  been  cut  I  Each 
volume  was  in  a  virgin  state,  as  issued  by  the  publisher.  "  H'm," 
said  the  Duke,  in  a  disappointed  voice,  "Your  young  gentlemen 
do  not  seem  to  have  read  much  of  my  father's  Papers." 

After  he  had  gone  Benson  sent  for  Merriott ',  the  Librarian, 
and  told  him  what  the  Duke  had  said  and  begged  him  without 

^  The  Rev.  J.  H.  Merriott,  afterwards  Assistant-master  at  Eton  College. 

1859-1873  BISHOP   WILBERFORCE  181 

delay  to  cut  or  get  cut  the  pages  of  all  the  volumes  forthwith — 
adding,  what  is  true  enough,  that  every  book  ought  to  be  carefully 
cut  before  it  is  put  into  a  Library.  If  it  is  left  to  a  casual  reader 
the  result  is  sure  to  be  disastrous.  A  proper  paper-knife  will  then 
be  the  last  instrument  to  be  used  in  cutting  the  pages.  For  the 
next  few  weeks  Merriott  was  seen  daily  and  everywhere  with  a 
volume  of  the  Duke  of  Wellington's  Despatches  under  his  arm, 
cutting  page  after  page  all  day  long  at  every  spare  moment.  Some 
of  us  helped  him,  for  there  were  many  volumes. 

The  next  time  the  Duke  came  (Nov.  24,  1872),  he  brought 
another  friend  and  they  went  round  the  College  as  usual.  And 
Benson  again  observed  the  same  process  with  his  father's  books. 
Then  he  turned  to  Benson;  "You've  had  'em  cut,"  said  he,  "I 
know  you  have.  No  one  ever  reads  every  page  of  such  books. 
You  ought  to  have  had  a  page  cut  here  and  there,  but  not  the 
whole  book."  Benson  laughed  and  in  his  defence  propounded 
his  theory  given  above  that  all  books  ought  to  be  properly  cut 
through  by  the  Librarian  before  they  were  placed  on  the  shelves  ; 
but  he  ever  after  agreed  with  Mr  Chance  that  our  new  Vice- 
President  was  "a  doosid  shrewd  old  gentleman." 

The  coming  of  Bishop  Wilberforce  for  the  Confirma- 
tion was  always  a  great  event.  My  father's  first  sight 
of  Wilberforce  was  an  interesting  one ;  he  wrote  to  the 
Bishop  ■  for  an  appointment,  to  consult  him  about  the 
Confirmations.  Wilberforce  asked  him  to  come  up  to 
London  on  a  certain  day  and  call  at  his  lodgings  in,  I 
think,  Ryder  Street,  saying  that  he  particularly  wished 
to  confer  with  him  on  the  subject  of  the  religious  edu- 
cation of  the  boys. 

My  father,  at  some  inconvenience  to  himself,  went  off 
by  an  early  train  and  was  at  the  house  at  the  time  fixed. 
He  waited  for  nearly  an  hour,  looking  over  some  compo- 
sition he  had  taken  with  him  to  employ  himself.  At  the 
end  of  that  time  he  heard  a  footstep  slowly  descending  the 
stairs.  The  door  was  opened,  and  the  Bishop  came  in, 
walking  delicately,  with  a  look  of  intense  preoccupation, 
carrying  in  his  hand  an  immense  quarto  Bible,  which  he 

1 82  BISHOP   WILBERFORCE  aet.  30-44 

deposited  on  a  small  table,  and  leaned  his  elbow  upon  it. 
My  father  always  said  that  he  had  no  doubt  he  had  been 
reading  it,  and  that  it  was  convenient  to  him  to  bring  it 
downstairs  with  him.  But  at  the  same  time  it  had  an 
indescribably  theatrical  air.  He  then  asked  one  or  two 
questions  which  my  father  answered  to  the  best  of  his 
ability,  with  the  depressing  consciousness  that  the  Bishop 
was  not  paying  the  slightest  attention.  In  the  middle 
of  one  of  his  answers  the  Bishop  suddenly  looked  at  his 
watch  and  said  that  he  feared  he  had  an  engagement, — 
"  a  directors'  meeting,"  my  father  used  to  opine, — but 
that  if  he  could  wait  until  his  return  he  had  several 
suggestions  to  make.  The  Bishop  then  left  the  room  in  a 
state  of  abstraction,  but  returned  in  a  moment  with  some 
letters,  which  he  opened,  and  then  said  in  his  most  engaging 
manner  that  he  was  terribly  pressed  for  time,  and  that  if 
my  father  could  possibly  in  his  absence  answer  one  or  two 
of  the  letters  for  him,  it  would  be  of  great  service  to  him. 
My  father  expressed  himself  delighted,  and  the  Bishop 
indicated  the  nature  of  the  replies  desired.  He  then  went 
away ;  my  father  wrote  all  the  letters,  laid  them  out  on 
the  table,  and  directed  the  envelopes.  A  couple  of  hours 
passed ;  my  father  had  had  no  food  since  the  early  break- 
fast, but  he  did  not  like  to  go.  The  Bishop  at  last 
returned ;  my  father  showed  him  the  letters.  "  I  am 
infinitely  obliged  to  you,"  said  the  Bishop,  and  began 
putting  them  into  the  envelopes  as  fast  as  he  could. 
My  father  said,  "  Won't  you  just  look  at  them  to  see 
that  they  are  what  you  would  desire  ? "  "I  am  sure 
they  are  delightful — perfection,"  said  the  Bishop  with  a 
benignant  smile,  and  sealed  them  up.  Then  he  asked  a 
few  more  vague  questions,  and  then  graciously  dismissed 
my  father,  who  lunched  at  a  coffee-house  and  returned 
home  in  haste.     Now  for  the  other  side. 

1859-1873  BISHOP    WILBERFORCE  183 

Bishop  Wilberforce  came  to  Wellington  for  the  Dedi- 
cation of  the  Chapel,  on  July  16,  1863.  The  Masters' 
Library  was  used  as  a  vestry  for  the  officials  and  clergy. 
The  Bishop,  who  had  arrived  at  the  College  the  day 
before,  came  in  rather  late,  put  on  his  robes,  and  then 
asked  for  a  pen,  ink  and  blotting-paper.  They  were 
provided;  he  then  took  out  of  his  pocket  a  MS.  sermon, 
only  half  finished,  and  began  to  write  in  a  bold  hand, 
quite  oblivious  of  the  conversation  and  movements  of 
the  clergy  present.  Presently  a  messenger  came  in  to 
say  that  the  Royalties  had  taken  their  places  and  that 
everyone  was  waiting.  The  Bishop  was  told  ;  he  smiled 
and  said,  "  I  daresay  they  can  give  me  a  few  minutes," 
and  wrote  on,  till  my  father  was  in  despair.  Then  he 
deliberately  blotted  his  MS.,  and  signified  that  he  was 
ready.  My  father  was  curious  to  hear  the  sermon,  written 
under  these  very  unpropitious  circumstances.  It  was  a 
noble  piece  of  Christian  rhetoric,  stately  and  yet  practical, 
exquisite  in  form  and  full  of  fire  and  feeling  to  the  very 

In  the  peroration  he  said : — 

The  peculiar  character  of  this  College  is  that  it  is  a  com- 
memoration. Like  all  other  Colleges  it  is  for  the  living;  unlike 
them,  it  is  a  remembrance  of  the  dead.  Like  all  others  it  is  full 
of  the  intense  vitality  of  the  young ;  unlike  all  others,  it  is  itself 
a  noble  mausoleum.  Like  all  others,  its  daily  voice  is,  "Learn 
how  to  live,"  but  unlike  others,  from  it  arises  in  every  pause  of  that 
living  hum,  as  the  tolling  of  some  funeral  bell  when  the  mighty 
pass  away,  the  solemn  utterance,  "  Memento  mori." 

At  the  same  service,  considerable  confusion  prevailed 
in  spite  of  the  Headmaster's  precise  orders :  Mr  Penny 
writes  : — 

The  real  author  of  the  blunder  was  Bishop  Wilberforce.  He 
had  arranged  that  the  services  should  consist  of  the  ordinary 
Chapel  service  immediately  after  breakfast  at   9  a.m.,  at  which 

1 84  BISHOP   WILBERFORCE  aet.  30-44 

the  deed  of  consecration  was  to  be  signed.  Afterwards  at  noon 
would  be  held  the  Consecration  Service  proper,  with  a  sermon 
from  himself.  It  had  been  arranged  that  at  this  earHer  service 
all  the  Masters  should  precede  the  Bishop  and  the  Archdeacon 
up  the  centre  aisle  and  that  then  we  should  open  out  and  they 
two  pass  between  us,  the  Bishop  to  his  chair,  the  Archdeacon  to 
the  sedilia,  and  that  we  should  then  return  in  procession  to  our 
stalls  at  the  West  end.  But  while  Benson  supposed  that  the 
Bishop  would  sign  the  deed  after  he  had  taken  his  seat  in 
the  apse,  Wilberforce's  intention  was  to  sign  it  in  the  Ante- 
chapel.  Accordingly  "  We  the  Masters,"  following  out  Benson's 
instructions,  had  progressed  more  than  halfway  up  the  Chapel 
when  we  heard  behind  us  an  awful  voice  saying  in  the  Bishop's 
deep  diapason,  "  They  must  all  come  back,"  which  accordingly 
we  did  with  much  confusion  of  face,  and  stood  just  at  the  Masters' 
stalls  while  Wilberforce  signed  the  deed,  handed  it  to  the  Arch- 
deacon and  bid  him  "enrol  it  among  the  muniments  of  the 
Diocese."  The  inkstand  used  on  this  occasion  was  made  from 
the  hoof  of  a  descendant  from  Copenhagen,  the  Duke  of  Welling- 
ton's charger  at  Waterloo.  It  had  just  been  mounted  in  silver 
and  given  to  the  College  and  is  now  in  the  Boys'  Library. 

Of  the  first  Confirmation  held  by  Bishop  Wilberforce  at 
Wellington,  the  Headmaster  wrote  thus  to  his  future  wife  : — 

Jtaie  7ih,  1859. 

The  Confirmation  went  off  admirably,  and  though  to  my 

great  grief  I  was  obliged  to  refuse  to  admit  one  boy  just  at  the 
last  moment,  the  rest  received  it  in  the  best  and  most  holily 
impressed  manner  I  ever  saw.  The  Bishop  said  he  was  quite 
affected  with  their  looks  and  their  simplicity  of  manner.  And 
indeed  he  seemed  so.  He  is  a  most  noble  fellow  certainly,  a 
born  orator,  and  with  the  highest  of  all  themes  a  most  impressive 
one.  My  eyes  were  quite  blind  with  tears  all  the  time.  He 
spoke  in  his  sermon  of  me  as  "  him  who  so  lovingly  watches  over 
you" — and  I  have  been  so  unworthy  and  so  neglectful  and  so 
selfish I  am  filled  with  shame. 

The  Bishop's  visits  were  always  keenly  looked  forward 
to  ;  he  generally  stayed  a  night  at  the  Lodge,  and  kept 
a  large  party  of  guests  amused   and   stimulated    by  his 

1859-1873  CHARLES   KINGSLEY  185 

admirable  conversation.  It  was  a  great  blow  when  he  was 
translated  to  Winchester.  And  I  well  remember  the  after- 
noon of  a  certain  Sunday^  when  I  started  for  a  walk  with 
my  father.  We  went  through  the  garden  and  just  at  the 
gate  leading  into  the  playing  fields,  the  old  college  gardener 
met  him  with  the  news  of  the  Bishop's  fatal  accident.  My 
father  turned  quite  white,  and  went  back  to  the  house 
in  silence. 

Mr  Penny  writes : — 

One  of  the  pleasantest  things  which  comes  back  to  me  in 
recalling  these  early  reminiscences  of  our  life  at  Wellington  is 
the  recollection  of  the  conversation  between  some  of  the  ablest 
men  of  our  time  whom  it  was  my  good  fortune  to  meet  at 
Benson's  dinner-table.  I  remember  on  one  occasion  at  a 
dinner-party  at  the  Lodge  when  both  Kingsley  and  Temple 
were  present,  and  Kingsley,  as  was  sometimes  the  case,  was 
talking  somewhat  discursively  and  illogically  about  contemporary 
events  in  the  political  world.  Temple  lost  all  patience.  Kingsley 
would  not  give  way,  so  Temple  shouted — there  is  no  other  word 
for  it— at  him  across  the  table,  "  I  don't  agree  !  I  don't  agree ! " 
instead  of  waiting  till  Kingsley  had  finished  his  say  and  then 
replying  to  his  argument. 

There  is  a  magnificent  Beech  Tree  in  the  woods  behind 
Heath  Pool,  a  largish  pond  made  by  the  Old  Roman  Road, 
which  is  locally  known  as  the  Devil's  Highway.  There  are 
several  fine  trees  near  it,  but  this  particular  tree  dominates  the 
others  in  size  and  height  and  girth  and  luxuriance  of  branches. 
Benson  was  very  fond  of  taking  his  guests  to  see  it  and  took  an 
early  opportunity  of  showing  it  to  Temple.  Temple  admired  it 
very  much  and  after  looking  at  it  for  some  time  close  at  hand  and 
at  a  distance,  cried  out  to  Benson,  "  I  can't  resist  the  temptation. 
Look  out ! "  and  before  Benson  could  turn  round  Temple  had 
made  a  rush  and  a  leap  and  was  scrambling  up  the  bole  of  the 
tree.  In  a  few  seconds  Temple  had  succeeded  in  reaching  the 
first  stage  whence  the  magnificent  limbs  diverge  in  all  directions, 
and  was  grinning  with  delight  at  his  success  upon  Benson  who 
was  laughing  heartily  and  looking  up  at  him  from  below.     How 

^  July  20,   1873. 

1 86  CHARLES    KINGSLEY  aet.  30-44 

little  did  either  of  them  then  suppose  that  they  were  both  in  a  few 
years  to  succeed  Tait  as  Archbishop  of  Canterbury  ! 

Charles  Kingsley's  rectory  of  Eversley  was  within  a 
fairly  easy  walk  of  Wellington.  My  father  saw  a  great 
deal  of  him,  and  though  I  should  imagine  that  there 
were  not  many  points  of  ecclesiastical  politics  on  which 
they  were  agreed,  the  fire  and  enthusiasm  which  underlay 
both  natures  made  them  fast  friends,  and  my  father  had 
the  deepest  and  most  reverent  admiration  for  Charles 
Kingsley's  splendid  energies,  and  his  devotion  to  the  cause 
of  Christ. 

The  Rector  of  Eversley  was  often  with  us,  and  we 
frequently  walked  over  to  Eversley.  Kingsley  seldom 
dressed  as  a  clergyman,  and  I  recall  him  best  in  a  suit  of 
rough  grey  cloth,  with  knickerbockers  and  a  black  tie.  My 
father  used  to  relate  how  at  the  close  of  a  discussion  as 
to  the  pleasantest  way  of  spending  a  holiday,  Kingsley 
exclaimed  with  great  warmth,  and  with  the  vigorous  stutter 
which  permeated  his  conversation  and  gave  it  so  racy 
a  flavour — "  Why,  to  lie  all  day,  of  course,  with  your 
b-b-b-belly  on  a  hot  flat  stone,  like  a  lizard  in  the  sun, 
and  think  about  nothing." 

He  has  told  me  that  once,  walking  with  Kingsley,  at  a 
remote  part  of  the  parish,  on  a  common,  the  Rector  suddenly 
saying  "  I  must  smoke  a  pipe,"  went  to  a  furze-bush  and  felt 
about  in  it  for  a  time,  presently  producing  a  clay  church- 
warden pipe  which  he  lighted,  and  solemnly  smoked  as  he 
walked,  putting  it  when  he  had  done  into  a  hole  among 
some  tree-roots,  and  telling  my  father  that  he  had  a 
cache  of  pipes  in  several  places  in  the  parish  to  meet 
the  exigencies  of  a  sudden  desire  for  tobacco. 

On  one  occasion  Coxwell  the  aeronaut  was  lecturing 
at  Wellington,  and  Kingsley  was  asked  to  meet  him. 
Several  neighbours  were  invited  to  dinner  after  the  lecture, 

1859-1873  MRS    KINGSLEY  187 

and  in  a  pause  in  the  talk  Kingsley  suddenly  exclaimed 
that  he  had  always  thought  that  the  first  aeronaut  must 
have  been  a  dentist — my  father  much  amused  enquired 
why.  "W/iy?"  said  Kingsley,  "because  he  is  always  looking 
down  people's  throats  and  breathing  foul  air,  and  he  must 
so  long  to  get  right  away  above  the  housetops  into  the 
free  heaven."  Coxwell  laughed  and  said,  "Well,  that 
\vas  not  the  reason  in  my  case.  I  am  a  dentist,  it  is 
true...."  "My  dear  Mr  Coxwell,"  said  Kingsley,  getting 
suddenly  red,  "  I  really  must  beg  your  pardon.  I  hadn't 
the  slightest  idea  when  I  said  it.  You  must  have  thought 
my  jest  a  most  ill-mannered  one."  And  he  could  not 
recover  his  spirits  for  the  rest  of  the  evening. 

Maurice  Kingsley,  the  Canon's  eldest  son,  was  at 
Wellington  College,  a  fine  high-spirited  boy,  almost 
Spanish  in  complexion.  Mrs  Kingsley  was  fully  as 
striking  as  her  husband.  "  This  is  Grenfell,"  she  said 
to  my  mother  on  one  of  their  visits  there,  introducing 
her  second  son,  then  a  small,  silent  boy,  with  a  shock 
head  of  black  hair,  and  large  black  unwinking  eyes.  "  He 
is  going  to  be  a  Civil  Engineer !  He  knows  a  great  deal 
about  Engineering  already,  but  not  much  about  civility." 

Though  my  father  was  always  deeply  impressed  by 
the  sense  of  religious  feeling  manifested  at  the  services 
at  Eversley  Church  by  both  priest  and  congregation, 
yet  Kingsley's  disregard  of  ceremony  and  ritual  used  to 
amuse  him.  Kingsley  used  to  go  and  sit  within  a  curious 
painted  and  gilt  Jacobean  screen  during  Matins,  taking 
no  part  whatever.  But  to  hear  the  Lord's  Prayer  at  the 
beginning  of  the  Communion  Service  coming  from  within 
the  screen,  in  that  deep  solemn  majestic  voice,  was  a 
strange  surprise  to  those  who  were  used  to  his  halting 
utterance  of  every  day.  When  the  Curate  preached, 
Kingsley   used    to   take   off  his  surplice   and    sit    in    the 

1 88  MRS   KINGSLEY  aet.  30-44 

Rectory  pew,  rising  to  give  the  Blessing  at  the  end.     My 
father  thought  this  an  affectation. 

But  the  friendship  between  the  two  highly-strung  en- 
thusiastic men  was  very  intimate  and  close.  "  What  is 
Benson's  character?"  said  a  friend  to  Kingsley,  who 
replied,  "  Beautiful,  like  his  face."  On  the  other  hand, 
till  the  end  of  his  life,  my  father  delighted  in  talking  of 
Kingsley,  and  spoke  of  him  with  tears  in  his  eyes. 
— '  Of  the  intercourse  between  the  two  households  my 
mother  writes : — 

Our  friendship  with  the  Kingsleys  gave  us  extreme  satisfac- 
tion and  enjoyment.  Very  soon  after  we  married  we  began  to 
know  them,  and  they  announced  their  intention  of  placing  their 
eldest  boy,  Maurice,  at  Wellington.  They  drove  over  and  saw 
everything  as  a  preliminary.  Mrs  Kingsley's  ejaculations  of  delight 
got  stronger  and  stronger  till  they  culminated  in  a  cry  of  "  O 
Mr  Benson,  the  crowning  mercy ! "  at  the  sight  of  the  rows  of 
jam-pots  in  the  steward's  room.  When  Maurice  came  to  us  they 
were  often  over,  and  for  the  latter  years  of  their  undivided  life  at 
Eversley,  before  he  became  a  Canon,  we  had  an  agreement  to 
dine  with  them  once  a  month,  alone — such  glorious  evenings  ! 
I  never  knew  a  couple  who  between  them  made  such  brilliant 
conversation.  He  and  my  husband  were  the  closest  friends. 
Mrs  Kingsley  used  to  call  it  "  on  the  heights "  when  we  came 
over  in  this  way.  Their  talks  on  education  were  wonderful.  My 
husband  had  been  pleading  with  her  once  to  get  a  better  governess 
for  the  children — and  specially  that  the  youngest  boy  should  be 
properly  grounded — it  was  so  important,  he  said,  to  lose  no  time 
so  that  he  might  be  brought  up  to  the  standard  of  his  age  without 
pressure  or  cramming.  Mrs  Kingsley  looked  gravely  at  him  with 
her  beautiful  mouth  twitching  with  humour.  "  Dear  A — ,"  she 
said,  "  I  am  sure  we  should  all  break  our  hearts  if  she  were  to  go 
away — but  she  couldn't  ground  a  gnat."  Once  when  they  had 
been  talking  again  on  the  subject  of  conversation  and  Mr  Kingsley 
had  vehemently  stated  that  he  believed  everything  connected  with 
mind  and  brain  to  be  a  "fungoid  growth  on  the  body,"  Mrs  Kingsley 
closed  the  discussion  by  saying,  "  After  all,  Mr  Benson,  the  body's 
the  thing,  isn't  it  ?  " 

1859-1873  CHARLES    KINGSLEY  189 

He  loved,  too,  to  ride  through  the  parish  with  Mr  Kingsley, 
and  on  rare  occasions  heard  him  preach.  Their  friendship  was 
very  strong  and  enduring.  It  was  not  founded  on  agreement 
only,  for  they  often  differed,  but  the  freshness  and  originality 
and  intensity  of  Mr  Kingsley  delighted  my  husband  to  the  core, 
and  there  was  great  affection  between  them. 

One  day  in  the  early  time  of  our  acquaintance  we  were  walking 
about  the  College  with  the  Kingsleys.  It  was  very  beautiful  to 
see  them  together — his  manner  towards  her  was  one  of  impassioned 
reverence,  and  he  led  her  gently  along  on  his  arm,  for  she  was  very 
delicate.  My  husband  used  to  delight  in  watching  them.  Finally 
we  came  to  the  front  entrance  and  they  looked  up  and  saw  the 
motto  of  the  College  over  the  gateway.  "  What  is  that,  Charles  ?  " 
said  Mrs  Kingsley.  He  read  it  to  her  :  "  Virtutis  fortuna  comes." 
"  But  what  does  it  mean,  Charles  ?  "  she  said.  "  It  means,  my 
F-fanny,"  he  said,  "  that  you  must  buy  in  the  ch-cheapest  market 
and  s-s-sell  in  the  dearest." 

Another  day  when  he  came  over,  my  husband  took  him  to 
a  small  pool  of  water  he  had  found  at  the  foot  of  a  tree — where 
he  had  seen  some  strange  mysterious  creatures  moving  about. 
Mr  Kingsley  stood  still  and  gazed — then  began  unbuttoning  his 
shirt-cuff.  My  husband  was  a  little  anxious,  for,  as  he  said,  he 
never  quite  knew  what  Mr  Kingsley  would  say  or  do  next,  when 
Mr  Kingsley  suddenly  stript  up  his  sleeve  to  the  elbow  and 
plunged  his  arm  into  the  pool  saying  "  In  the  Name  of — Nature, 
come  out ! " 

'We  spent  a  wonderful  afternoon  one  summer  wandering  about 
Bramshill  Park  which  was  quite  close  to  Eversley.  Mr  Kingsley 
seemed  to  know  and  differentiate  every  tree.  One  bare  twisted 
trunk,  with  dead  boughs,  he  brought  us  up  to  and  said  "  There  ! 
that's  a  tree  on  which  someone  tnzist  hang  himself.  If  no  one 
has  yet,  someone  will  soon — it's  a  wicked  tree." 

The  Dean  of  Westminster,  then  Headmaster  of  Marl- 
borough, writes : — 

I  remember  well  one  visit  in  the  summer  while  your  father  and 
mother  were  still  living  in  the  College  and  were  visited  by  Charles 
Kingsley — the  first  time  that  I  had  met  him,— who  drove  over 
from  Eversley  and  gave  the  boys  and  masters  his  lecture  on  Eyes 
and  No  Eyes,  and  afterwards  played  croquet  with  us  on  a  piece 
of  grass  but  lately  laid  down  on  that  dry  heathy  soil.     The  heat 

I90  CHARLES    KINGSLEY  aet.  30-44 

of  the  drive  had  brought  on  his  stammering  troubles.  "  Find  me," 
he  said  to  me,  "a  place  where  I  can  smoke  without  deb-deb- 
debauching  these  boys."  I  remember  placing  him  by  the  side 
and  screened  by  a  brick  buttress,  just  under  the  room  which  I  was 
occupying ;  there  he  had  his  pipe,  the  smoke  just  curling  up  as  far 
as  my  window;  and  that  done,  he  was  himself  again. 

In  an  interesting  letter  to  Mrs  Kingsley,  written  after 
Professor  Kingsley's  death,  my  father  says : — 

The  Chancery,  Lincoln. 

Sunday,  July  nth,  1875. 

I  never  did,  and  I  believe  I  never  shall,  see  anything  that 

spoke  so  loud  for  the  Church  of  England  as  never  to  be  put  away, 
as  did  the  Morning  Service  in  Eversley  church,  whether  he  read  or 
whether  he  preached.... There  was  a  bold  sketch  of  Mr  Kingsley 
in  the  Spectator  in  his  squire-like  aspect,  and  I  think  it  was  true. 
But  I  know  that  an  equally  true  sketch  might  be  made  of  him  as 
a  parish  priest,  who  would  have  delighted  George  Herbert.  The 
gentle,  warm  frankness  with  which  he  talked  on  a  summer  Sunday 
among  the  grassy  and  flowery  graves.  The  happy  peace  in  which 
he  walked,  chatting,  over  to  Bramshill  Chapel-School,  and,  after 
reading  the  Evening  Service,  preached  in  his  surplice,  with  a 
chair-back  for  his  pulpit,  on  the  deeps  of  the  Athanasian  Creed  ; 
and,  after  thanking  God  for  words  which  brought  such  truths  so 
near,  bade  the  villagers  mark  that  the  very  Creed  which  laid  such 
stress  on  faith,  told  them  that  "  they  who  did  good  would  go  into 
everlasting  life. "...Strangers  several  times  asked  me  who  saw  him 
at  Service  in  our  own  school  chapel,  who  it  was  who  was  so  rapt 
in  manner,  who  bowed  so  low  at  the  Gloria  and  at  the  name  of 
Jesus  Christ ;  and  so  I  too  was  surprised  when  he  asked  me, 
before  preaching  in  his  church,  to  use  only  the  Invocation  of  the 
Trinity,  and  when  I  observed  that  he  celebrated  the  Communion 
in  the  eastward  position.  This  he  loyally  gave  up  on  the  Purchas 
Judgment,  "  because  I  mind  the  law,"  but  told  me  with  what  regret 
he  discontinued  what  from  his  ordination  he  had  always  done, 
believing  it  the  simple  direction  of  the  Prayer  Book. 

I  here  collect  two  or  three  amusing  episodes  connected 
with  the  first  years  at  Wellington. 

In  the  early  days  of  the  College  the  lakes  shortly  after 

1859-1873  THE    MASTER   SUBMERGED  191 

their  completion  were  frozen.  A  notice  was  sent  round  to 
the  effect  that  no  boy  was  to  go  upon  the  ice  till  its  safety- 
had  been  tested.  After  school  the  Headmaster  went  down 
to  try  it  in  person,  the  school  being  assembled  on  the  bank; 
he  had  hardly  reached  the  middle  of  the  pond,  when  in 
an  awe-struck  silence  the  ice  broke  and  the  Master  was 
submerged  in  water  just  out  of  his  depth.  He  was  soon 
extricated  and  the  incident  was  celebrated  by  a  copy  of 
verses  written  by  the  College  Porter,  a  man  of  great 
humour  and  undoubted  originality : 

The  ice  was  frozen  o'er  at  College : 
The  gents  to  skate  forsook  their  knowledge, 
And  helter-skelter  to  the  ice 
Went  scurrying,  as  do  poor  mice, 
When  in  a  loft  to  their  surprise 
The  cat  unveils  her  glaring  eyes. 
The  Dominus  was  walking  o'er 
The  ice,  to  see  if  well  it  bore ; 
Deeming  it  would  be  so  provoking 
If  any  gent  should  get  a  soaking. 
Thereby  inducing  agues,  fever. 
Which  are  both  bad  for  lungs  and  liver : 
When  down  he  went,  to  all  men's  view, 
Immersed  in  water  six  foot  two 
Inches ; — let's  hope  that  this  disaster 
Will  not  affect  the  health  of  Master; 
And  that  the  ice,  in  future,  may, 
When  honoured  thus, — not  give  way. 

One  little  incident  of  my  father's  early  days  at 
Wellington  I  may  here  mention  (as  indicating  the 
unsophisticated  nature  of  the  neighbourhood).  About  a 
couple  of  months  after  his  appointment  he  was  walking 
at  dusk  with  Lightfoot  along  the  road  between  Edgebarrow 
and  Ambarrow  that  led  to  the  siding  of  the  S.W.R,  which 
was  at  first  the  only  station.  Here,  by  a  plantation  of 
larches  stood  a  little  hut,  in  which  was  located  Pat,  the 
"watchman,"  an  official  newly    invented,  that   he    might 

192  PAT   THE   WATCHMAN  aet.  30-44 

patrol  the  College  at  night,  in  case  of  any  suspicion  of 
fire.  My  father  and  Lightfoot  took  a  little  path  which 
passes  by  the  hut ;  the  zealous  watchman  rushed  out,  and 
said  that  they  could  not  pass.  In  vain  my  father  protested. 
It  was  useless.  "  If  you  don't  go  back,  I'll  set  the  dog  at 
you  and  put  the  pitch-fork  into  you."  At  last  he  said  that 
he  was  the  new  Headmaster,  when  Pat's  hat  came  off  and 
he  fell  on  his  knees,  asking  for  mercy. 

Pat  was  a  great  character.  He  used  at  stated  intervals 
in  his  nightly  perambulations  to  announce  the  hour  and 
the  state  of  the  weather,  under  the  windows  of  the  Master's 
Lodge.  On  one  occasion  his  cry  of  "Three  o'clock  and  a 
fine  night,"  had  hardly  died  away  when  a  head  was  put 
out,  and  a  voice  politely  said  "My  friend,  couldn't  you  make 
that  nasty  noise  somewhere  else.-'"  It  was  Bishop  Wilber- 
force,  who  was  staying  at  the  Lodge  for  the  Dedication  of 
the  Chapel,  who  told  the  story  the  next  morning  with 
great  glee,  saying  that  he  had  been  awakened  by  what  he 
called  "  the  grandfather  of  all  Dumble-dores,  buzzing  in 
his  curtains." 

Mr  Penny  thus  describes  his  own  first  arrival  at 
Wellington  College: — 

I  arrived  about  6  p.m.  on  May  8th,  1861,  at  the  College 
Station  which  then  consisted  of  two  platforms  and  a  small  box 
as  ticket  office  on  the  side  nearest  the  College.  On  getting 
out  I  observed  two  young  men,  evidently  my  future  colleagues, 
awaiting  me.  They  came  up  at  once, — the  younger  apparently 
taking  the  lead — and  introduced  themselves  to  me.  "Mr  Penny?" 
I  said,  "Yes."  "This  is  Fisher',  and  I  am  Benson."  I  was 
simply  dumbfoundered.  He  looked  so  young,  at  first  sight.  A 
second  glance  showed  me  that  he  was  older  than  he  looked. 
Light,  almost  flaxen,  hair — light  blue  eyes  with  rather  prominent 
eyeballs  which  turned  and  flashed  in  every  direction— no  whiskers 
or  hardly  any  hair  on  his  cheeks.  A  long  body  with  rather  short 
legs  in  proportion,  otherwise  he  would  have  been  a  tall  man,  and 

1  The  Rev.  F.  H.  Fisher,  afterwards  Vicar  of  Fulham,  now  of  Debden. 

1859-1873     REMINISCENCES— ARTHUR   CARR  193 

as  it  was,  he  was  above  the  average  height.  With  his  commanding 
address,  but  most  suave  and  affable  manner,  he  soon  replaced 
my  first  impression  of  his  youthfulness  with  another  feeling  of 
deference  and  respect  towards  my  future  Headmaster.  As  we 
walked  up  to  the  College  across  the  turf  I  noticed  the  awe  in  the 
countenance  of  every  boy  whom  we  met  and  with  what  scrupulous 
attention  each  boy  touched  his  cap  in  passing  us.  It  was  clear 
to  me  even  by  then  that  Benson  was  a  Master  whom  the  boys 
feared  and  that  wherever  he  appeared  strict  discipline  was  the 
order  of  the  day. 

The  Rev.  Arthur  Carr,  now  Vicar  of  Addington,  my 
father's  friend  and  colleague,  writes : — 

I  remember  at  my  very  first  interview  with  Mr  Benson  (as  he 
then  was)  at  Wellington  College  in  i860,  how  inspiring  and 
stimulating  he  was.  He  at  once  impressed  me  with  confidence 
and  interest.  The  Masters  at  Wellington  were  made  to  feel  from 
the  first  that  they  were  helping  to  work  out  a  great  plan.  Instinc- 
tively we  saw  that  there  were  grand  possibilities  in  Wellington 
College  as  it  grew  beneath  his  hand.  The  Masters  were  all  very 
young  men  when  Wellington  College  started,  there  was  very  little 
experience  but  much  enthusiasm.  This  and  the  vigilant  eye  of 
the  Headmaster  saved  us  from  great  mistakes.  He  taught  us  one 
great  lesson — to  be  self-sacrificing  for  the  College,  to  be  ready  to 
give,  and  to  enjoy  giving  time,  money,  thought,  and  whatever 
ability  we  possessed  to  its  development  on  every  side — to  the 
building  and  decoration  of  the  Chapel — to  the  organization  of 
the  games,  and  of  the  work  in  school.  One  characteristic  of 
Benson  came  out  in  those  early  days,  which  was  a  feature  of  his 
career  ever  afterwards  :  his  unwearied  and  minute  attention  to 
detail.  He  would  spend  hours  in  arranging  tables  of  work  for 
the  different  departments  of  the  school.  Every  schoolmaster 
knows  what  this  means — right  proportion  to  be  observed  among 
a  variety  of  subjects,  fair  adjustment  of  labour  among  many 
workers,  infinite  pains  to  avoid  clashing.  Each  of  us  might 
assist  at  this  or  that  point,  the  master  undertook  the  whole.  It 
was  the  same  in  all  other  departments — dormitory  regulations — 
domestic  organization — the  laying  out  of  the  playing  fields  and 
garden — the  building  and  design  of  the  Chapel. 

I  find  among  my  notes  an  account  of  a  visit  (his  first  I  believe) 
which  he  paid  to  Windsor  Castle.    Being  summoned  to  the  Queen's 

B.  I.  13 

194  LETTERS   FROM   WELLINGTON  aet.  31 

presence,  he  was  brought  first  to  a  small  ante-chamber  where,  on  a 
table,  the  Prince  Consort's  hat  and  gloves  and  white  wideawake 
were  laid,  evidently  just  as  he  had  left  them.  Mr  Benson  was 
then  introduced  into  a  small  cabinet  eight  feet  wide  and  fourteen 
feet  long.  The  servant  then  said  :  "  Her  Majesty  will  come  through 
that  door."  And  presently  she  appeared  looking  paler  than  usual. 
She  immediately  asked  whether  Mr  Benson  could  give  a  good 
account  of  the  College  and  the  boys.  She  spoke  of  the  interest 
the  Prince  Consort  had  taken  in  the  place,  and  said  she  wished 
Prince  Arthur  always  to  be  connected  with  the  College.  She 
went  on  to  speak  of  his  studies.  He  was  reading  with  a  tutor 
at  Blackheath.  "  He  is  an  intelligent  Httle  fellow,  but  not  very 
industrious."  The  Queen  also  said  how  glad  she  had  been  to  be 
able  to  send  the  plan  of  the  College  with  remarks  in  the  Prince 
Consort's  hand-writing  :  she  had  found  it  when  turning  over  some 
papers  at  Osborne  while  looking  for  something  else,  and  immedi- 
ately sent  it.  Then  she  spoke  of  the  Prince  Consort,  how  he 
thought  for  her  always,  and  that  then  there  was  no  need  for  her  to 
think,  "but  I  must  think  now,"  she  said.  (This  was  on  Dec.  14, 
1862,  the  first  anniversary  of  the  Prince  Consort's  death.) 

The  following  are  selected    from  his   early  letters  at 
Wellington  College. 

To  his  old  pupil  E.  M.  Oakeley^  who  had  proposed  to 
visit  him  at   Wellington  College. 

Wellington  College, 
Sandhurst,  Berks. 
Jan.  14,  1859. 
My  dear  Oakeley, 

It  is  very  unfortunate  and  I  am  very  sorry,  that  at 
your  first  offer  to  come  to  me  I  cannot  receive  you.  But  the  fact 
is  so,  for  I  have  every  minute  occupied  with  business  in  order  to 
prepare  for  our  opening  on  the  20th,  and  my  house  is  in  such  an 
unfinished  state  that  I  have  had  a  workman  here  all  day  in  the 
very  room  in  which  I  have  been  writing  my  letters.  We  have 
nothing  yet  ready,  and  a  few  weeks  hence  we  shall  be  in  a 
presentable  condition.  Dr  Temple  comes  to  me  on  the  i8th  or 
19th,  and  I  fear  I  shall  seem  to  him  like  a  backwoodsman,  so 
completely  am  I  occupied  with  the  very  simplest  arts  of  life.  He 
is  going  to  launch  us  by  his  good  counsel,  and  to  take  an  active 

i86i  LETTERS  TO    LIGHTFOOT  195 

part  in  our  [Entrance]  Examinations.     In  fact  he  is  going  to  pilot 
us  out  of  harbour. 

At  present  I  could  show  you  some  very  fine  shavings,  and 
some  very  fine  planks,  but  that  is  all  that  is  to  be  seen  at  present 
in  the  inside  of  my  Chapel.  And  although  a  Freemason  was 
pointing  out  to  my  great  edification  yesterday  that  our  Foundation 
Stone  was  laid  exactly  where  the  Foundation  Stone  of  the  Temple 
was  placed,  our  Chapel  is  certainly  not  fitting  up  a  la  Solomon 
and  Hiram — without  noise.  The  banging  of  planks,  and  nails, 
and  hammers  exceeds  that  in  Big  School  at  Rugby  before  Speech 

Ever  sincerely  yours, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  the  Rev.  J.  B.  Lightfoot,  who  had  recently  beeti 
appoijited  Chaplain  to  the  Qiieeji. 

20  Feb.  1 86 1. 

Hearty  congratulations  on  your  Court  dignity.  Our  "latter 
Solomon,"  second  of  that  name,  is  wiser  than  even  I  his  devoted 
shoe-polisher  (non-official)  have  thought  him. 

"  But  really  joking  is  out  of  place,"  I  am  so  heartily  glad,  and 
the  Prince  Consort  has  done  so  exactly  the  right  thing — and 
one  thing  more — I  hope,  my  dear  fellow,  you  will  prove  it  to  the 
world — not  by  the  reticence  which  you  thought  would  have 
hampered  you  as  Hulsean  Professor,  but  by  speaking  out  the 
thing  that  is.  I  am  sure  these  are  days  when  every  truth-lover 
ought  to  begin ; 

7rappr](TLa  XaXclv  t<5  KocTyao),  TravTore  StSacTKcuv  iv  crvvayoiyr]  kol  iv 
T(p   Upw,    OTTOV  TravTCs  (TVvepxovraL — iv  KpvTTTw  jUi^Sev  XaXelv^. 

I  have  been  ready  to  die  with  shame  at  seeing  J.  P.  Manchester 
among  those  impotent  rowing  prelates'.  Fancy  Arnold's  name 
there  if  you  can. 

I  don't  love  Bunsen  overmuch,  but  his  death-bed^  may  well 

^  "To  speak  openly  to  the  world,  ever  teaching  in  the  synagogue  and  in 
the  temple,  where  all  come  together — in  secret  to  speak  nothing."  A  free 
quotation  from  St  John  xviii.  20. 

^  This  refers  to  the  pronouncement,  signed  by  Archbishop  Sumner  and 
twenty-five  Diocesan  Bishops,  issued  Feb.  12,  i86r,  condemning  Essays  and 

•'  Baron  C.  C.  J.  P.unsen,  the  friend  and  correspondent  of  Dr  Arnold, 
Prussian  Ambassador  to  England,  died  Nov.  28,  i860. 


196  LETTERS   TO    LIGHTFOOT  aet.  31-32 

teach  men  that  scepticism  is  not  necessarily  impious  or  hopeless. 
And  how  can  Lee,  who  dares  to  stand  alone,  have  joined  an 
ecclesiastical  censure  which  cuts  its  own  throat  in  its  own  words — 
and  he  the  son  of  Arnold  the  son  of  Bunsen. 

Well,  farewell,  Mr  Chaplain,  and  pardon  me  my  screed,  your 
Reverence,  and  don't  forget  to  pray  for  your  godson^  who  grows 
apace  and  is  a  merry  soul. 

My  wife's  kindest  regards  and  congratulations. 

Your  ever  affectionate, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  the  Rev.  J.  B.  Lightfoot, 

Wellington  College. 

16  March,  1861. 
Mv  dear  Lightfoot, 

Essays  and  Reviews  is  indeed  a  sad  subject.  I  had  a 
very  jolly  letter  yesterday  from  Temple  about  them.  He  has 
certainly  felt  deeply,  and  we  all  know  how  wholly  different  he  is 
from  all  but  Jowett,  from  whom  he  still  differs.  His  manliness  and 
chivalry  however  ought  to  prevent,  and  I  am  confident  will 
prevent,  his  renouncing  those  with  whom  he  has  set  sail,  even 
if  he  did  not  know  all  about  them. 

Ever  your  affectionate, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  the  Rev.  J.  B.  Lightfoot. 

Wellington  College. 
4//i  JujiCi  1 86 1. 

I  am  so  busy  that  I  have  no  time  for  any  work  or  reading, 
scarcely  for  exercise.  My  complaint  is  not  like  Arnold's  that  I 
find  myself  disposed  in  leisure  time  to  sit  down  with  an  easy 
book,  rather  than  with  a  hard  one,  but  that  sitting  down  and 
dropping  asleep  is  most  congenial  to  me  now.  The  consequence 
is  that  I  am  still  overworked  and  not  well.  However  I  exert 
myself  like  Samson  at  Gaza  for  the  present  in  the  hope  of  having 
less  to  do  bye  and  bye.     Decentralization  is  my  one  object,  and 

^  Martin  White  Benson,  his  eldest  child. 


with  this  object  I  spin  round  like  a  mop  thirsting  to  get  dry.  A 
noble  TcXos. 

We    were    lucky    enough    to    wop    Basingstoke    at    cricket. 
Marlbro'  is  here  to-day  to  avenge  them. 

Ever  your  affectionate, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  his    Wife. 

Wellington  College  (?)  1861. 

I  wish  I  were  more  fit  for  my  work.     It  is  too  great 

a  work  for  me.  I  am  not  as  keen  and  yet  not  as  loving  as  I 
ought  to  be.  I  am  afraid  I  am  making  a  sad  muddle  of  every- 
thing. The  burden  of  all  things  seems  to  make  me  fidgetty  from 
head  to  foot,  so  that  I  feel  little  comfort  in  leisure.  I  want  a 
greater  soul  and  a  calmer  way  of  looking  at  things.  Where  am 
I  to  get  it  ?  It  seems  to  dwell  in  some  books  and  to  penetrate 
me  while  I  am  feeding  on  them — but  Puff!  it  all  goes  when  the 
clock  strikes.  I  wonder  if  one  will  age  into  it,  or  fatten  into  it. 
I  only  wish  it  would  come  somehow — for  I  don't  seem  to  have 
the  spare  minutes  to  philosophize  myself  into  it. 

Dear  wife, 

Ever  your  affectionate  grumbler, 

E.  W.  B. 

To  the  Rev.  J.  F.    Wickenden,  describing  a  tour  in  Devon 
and  Cornwall. 


15  Sept.  1861. 
My  dear  Fred, 

You  have  been  so  missed  daily  and  hourly  since  you 
left  us.  Peranzabuloe  was  most  striking — such  a  wilderness  !  of 
sand  and  grass  and  fragments  of  human  bones.  It  is  rapidly 
disappearing  again.  Tintagel  a  glorious  frowning  black  pro- 
montory with  walls  scarcely  distinguishable  from  rock.  Bude  a 
jolly  little  place,  with  MaskelVs  (of  old  remembrance)  house  made 
out  of  an  old  Castle  and  nestled  with  grass  mounds — (before 
Bude)  a  wild  cliff  walk  from  Tintagel  to  Boscastle,  a  place  in 
character  like  Tintagel. 

198      HEADMASTERSHIP  OF  BIRMINGHAM,     aet.  32-33 

After  Bude — Morwenstow,  where  Mr  Hawker  was  invisible  in 
gout — Church  interesting — and  churchyard,  vide  Murray — Hart- 
land,  beautiful  woods,  fine  Abbey  Church,  very  lofty  tower,  and 
such  a  rood  screen,  of  immense  size,  quite  perfect,  with  all  the 
original  colours  and  gilding,  soft  and  delicate. 

Clovelly — white  cottages  clustered  between  close  banks  of  cliff 
and  wood,  feathery  woods,  and  picturesque  peaks  between,  for 
miles  along  the  shore  either  way.  Clovelly  Court  a  grand  old 
park  of  the  most  various  kind  of  beauty — simple,  hearty  people. 
The  houses  climb  over  each  other  like  steps  of  a  ladder  up  the 
ravine.     No  conveyance  except  spring  carts  since  Truro. 

Ever  with  all  love. 

Your  affectionate, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To   Professor  Lightfoot^,  asking  advice  as  to  whether  the 

writer  should  stand  for  the  Headmaster  ship  of  King 

Edward's  School^  Birmingliam. 

29  May,  1862. 
Dear  Professor, 

Barry  ^  gone  to  Cheltenham  ! 
Out  of  the  way  for  Birmingham. 
Gifford  has  resigned — 
But  I  can't  make  up  my  mind. 

Be  my  Ahithophel — 

Berks  versus  Brummagem. 

;^i5oo  versus  ;^25oo  per  annum. 

Rosy-cheek'd  babes  versus  ?  pasty  faces. 

The  school  my  bantling  versus  The  school  our  mother. 

Lord  Derby  versus  The  Rev.  Miller. 

I  can't  add  it  up. 

If  I  move  must  I  move  soon? 

Ever  your  affectionate, 

E.  W.  B. 

1  The  Rev.  J.  B.  Lightfoot  was  elected  Hulsean  Professor  of  Divinity  at 
Cambridge  in  1861. 

2  Principal   of  Cheltenham   College    1862-1868,   subsequently  Bishop  of 
Sydney,  now  Canon  of  Windsor  and  Rector  of  St  James's,  Westminster. 

1862-1863  LETTERS   TO    LIGHTFOOT  199 

To  Professor  LigJitfoot. 

Wellington  College,  Wokingham. 
2  June,  1862. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

Another  day  and  a  night  [to  some  extent]  of  anxious 
thought  have  made  me  feel  that  I  ought  not  to  make  the  first  step 
towards  leaving  a  work  which  I  am  convinced  is  so  important  as 
this.  I  must  cherish  this  place — my  rising  system — the  Masters 
I  have  brought  here — the  boys  I  love — my  babies'  birthplace — 
and  not  the  less  because  I  have  had  some  pangs,  some  angers 
and  some  disgusts — and  I  think  the  House  has  new  work  to  do. 

Many  thanks  for  your  love  and  confidence  and  pains.  I  am 
ready  to  co-operate  with  you  to  any  extent  in  securing  a  better 
servant  than  I  should  have  been  to  the  old  place. 

Me  in  my  vow'd 
Picture,  the  sacred  wall  declares  to  have  hung 

My  dank  and  dropping  weeds 

To  the  stern  God  of  the  sea^ 

Ever  yours  affectionately, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  Professor  LigJitfoot. 

Wellington  College. 

21  Feb.  1863. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

The  Chapel  here  is  really  bee-utiful.  The  sermons 
though  are  mostly  Jaques's,  in  the  stones.  For  it  is  difficult  to 
hear  the  ordinary  ones. 

Our  joint  love  and  benediction. 

Ever  your  affectionate, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  Professor  LigJitfoot,  on  tJie  writer s  being  cJiosen 
Select  PreacJier  at  Cambridge. 

7  May,  1863. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

I  did  as  you  desired  and  wrote  a  line  at  once  in 
answer  to  your  kind  little  note,  which  I  hope  duly  arrived,  and 
having  this  done,  I  have  since  "in  my  grand  neglectful  way,"  as 
some  future  Kinglake  may  like  to  record,  said  no  more. 
1  Milton's  version  of  Horace,  Odes  1.5. 

200  LETTERS   TO    LIGHTFOOT  aet.  34 

It  was  kind  of  you  to  wish  to  dignify  me  with  a  select 
preachership,  and  proper  to  accept  it,  I  trust,  as  I  was  glad  that 
something  should  make  it  necessary  for  me  to  touch  earth  again 
at  Cambridge,  and  I  suppose  that  these  Sundays  are  practically 
free  from  the  incumbrance  or  annoyance  of  a  congregation,  so 
that  I  need  not  be  nervous.  However  before  that  time  comes, 
you  must  counsel  me  both  as  to  what  I  shall  say  and  how  say  it, 
for  fear  of  those  holy  walls  which  doubtless  change  like  opals  at 
the  sound  of  poisonous  doctrine. 

Ever  your  affectionate  friend, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

Many  thanks  for  the  Hebrew  books.  I  believe  I  could  learn 
Hebrew  out  of  Mason  and  Bernard — though  the  contemplation  of 
the  difificulties  of  others  makes  me  doubt  the  possibility  of  ever 
learning  any  more. 

To  Professor  Lightfoot,  071  hearing  of  the  death  of  his 
sister — atid  about  a  projected  critical  commentary  on 
the  New  Testament  in  the  work  of  which  he  was  asked 
to  join. 

Wellington  College. 

3  Nov.  1863. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

How  fast  the  lights  are  dying  out  all  around  us 
which  were  shining  when  we  began — both  friends  and  dear  ones, 
and  great  names  which  were  familiar.  A  fear  of  new  faces  and 
other  minds  seems  to  creep  on  one  when  one  turns  the  half  of 
the  threescore  and  ten,  and  warns  one  that  the  end  of  life  will  not 
be  like  the  beginning.  One  does  not  seem  able  to  spare  any  love 
or  any  regard  out  of  the  world.  I  have  been  greatly  saddened 
and  oppressed  by  the  loss  of  Donne', — all  the  more  because  our 
real  regard  for  each  other  was  not  always  able  to  find  the  right 
meeting  point.  And  his  wife's  and  father's  sorrow  has  been  so 
deep,  and  his  poor  wife's  seems  to  be  darkening  still.  And  we 
have  been  almost  their  chief  comforters  and  helpers.  But  one 
can  go  on  quietly  with  what  one  expects  and  knows  and  lives  in, 
when  a  blow  like  this  struck  at  one  who  seemed  always  to  move 
in  an  air  of  brightness  and  freshness,  seems  too  startling  and 

1  The  Rev.  R.  J.  Donne,  Fellow  of  Trin.  Coll.  Camb.  and  Assist.  Master 
at  Wellington,  died  1863. 

i863  WANT   OF   LEISURE  201 

incomprehensible  to  be  believed.     I  do  sympathise  with  you,  ever 
dear  friend,  and  with  you  all  most  deeply. 

I  can  scarcely  turn  to  the  rest  of  your  last  letter,  but  I  think 
that  you  will  be  wishing  to  hear  for  the  sake  of  other  people's 

I  have  considered  the  matter  well  over  as  you  desire — and 
must  thank  you  and  Jeremie  very  much  for  the  honour  of  your 
request.     Pray  say  so  to  Jeremie  for  me. 

You  know  my  feebleness  and  my  dilatoriness.  You  remember 
Plato  and  the  Biblical  Dictionary,  and  the  Hippolytus  and  the 
Monastic  Orders.  If  you  think  I  am  to  be  trusted ;  and  if  you 
think  I  can  do  it ;  I  shall  be  glad  to  undertake,  and  rejoiced  if  I 
perform  anything  to  your  satisfaction.  I  think  the  Thessalonians 
would  be  an  Epistle  which  I  should  like  to  work  at.  But  I  am 
sorry  that  none  of  you  greater  lights  and  possessors  of  greater 
leisure  have  undertaken  Romans  or  Corinthians.  You  or  Jeremie, 
you,  I  should  say — ought.  The  Corinthians  would  be  a  glorious 
field  for  you.  Of  course  Westcott  would  do  them  beautifully  if 
he  had  time,  but  I  suppose  this  is  why  he  chooses  a  small  Epistle. 

However  I  have  yet  to  learn  all  about  the  work,  if  I  undertake 
it — viz.  the  length  and  style  of  note — whether  continuous  or 
broken  notes— whether  paraphrased — is  it  to  bear  any  resemblance 
to  Pusey's  Minor  Prophets  ? 

There  are  of  course  other  matters  in  connection  with  it  on 
which  I  must  look  for  inspiration  to  the  Editor — or  you  as  his 
lIpocfirjTr)<;  Aortas  ^. 

I  wish  for  many  reasons  you  could  come  and  stay  with  us  a 
little.  Can't  you  and  won't  you  ?  Our  little  girP  is  to  be  christened 
on  Sunday  and  my  wife  will  be  about  again,  I  trust.  After 
Tuesday  next  we  shall  have  an  unoccupied  room  for  you. 

Come  and  let  me  see  you  that  we  may  talk  face  to  face,  and 
that  I  may  have  joy  of  your  fellowship,  and  that  we  may  be 
strengthened  by  the  mutual  comfort  one  of  another.  None  needs 
it  so  much  as 

Your  affectionate,  E.  W.  Benson. 

And  it  will  do  you  good,  in  all  troubles  and  trials,  to  try  to 
make  one  who  sinks  and  slips,  stand  upright  and  look  at  Heaven 
a  little. 

^  Interpreter — a  phrase  applied  to  Apollo,  in  his  capacity  as  Interpreter  of 
the  mind  of  Zeus.     See  Aesch.  Enm.  19. 
^  Mary  Eleanor  Benson,  born  Oct.  1863. 



"  Where  thou,  through  glad  laboriotts  days, 
Didst  imrse  aud  kindle  gencro7cs  fires. 
That,  as  the  old  earth  forward  runs. 
Shall  fit  the  sons  of  hero  sires 
To  be  the  sires  of  hero  sons." 

Some  of  the  Newspapers  at  the  time  of  my  father's 
death,  speaking  of  his  tenure  of  office  at  WeUington,  wrote 
of  him  as  a  courtly  enthusiastic  young  Headmaster,  but 
as  possessed  of  sweetness  rather  than  strength. 

There  could  not  possibly  be  a  more  singular  and 
palpable  error  than  this.  As  a  schoolmaster  my  father 
was,  I  suppose,  one  of  the  sternest  and  severest  discipli- 
narians that  ever  ruled  a  school ;  he  could  inspire  devoted 
admiration — it  was  admiration  even  more  than  love — but 
he  could  and  largely  did  rule  through  fear.  There  is  no 
exaggeration  in  saying  that  boys  and  even  masters  were 
greatly  afraid  of  him,  feared  his  censure,  and  consequently 
set  great  store  on  his  praise.  The  admiring  awe  with  which 
he  was  regarded  throws  light  on  a  curious  trait  in  charac- 
ter, and  especially  the  youthful  character — the  undoubted 
admiration  which  boys  have  for  severity  liberally  bestowed. 

This  severity  was  partly  deliberate  ;  one  of  his  assistants 
has  told  me  that  the  boys  were  originally  somewhat  rough, 
the  sons  in    many  cases   of  widowed   mothers,  who  had 

1859-1873  DISCIPLINE  203 

never  known  paternal  discipline  but  had  not  unfrequently 
inherited  paternal  wilfulness ;  the  masters  too  were  young, 
inexperienced  and  inclined  to  confide  in  their  own  methods. 
It  was  also  partly  unconscious,  I  do  not  know  that  my 
father  ever  quite  realised  what  an  extraordinary  personal 
ascendency  he  possessed  ;  he  was  one  of  those  people 
whose  displeasure  or  depression  necessarily  affect  the 
whole  of  his  immediate  circle.  He  used  to  regret  in  later 
years  that  he  had  thought  it  necessary  to  be  so  stern  a 
ruler ;  in  a  long  walk  which  I  once  had  with  him  in  Swit- 
zerland, he  spoke  to  me  first  of  the  life-long  struggle  he 
had  fought  with  a  naturally  violent  temper,  and  he  went  on 
to  say  that  sternness  was  not  the  right  attitude  for  a 
schoolmaster,  "  it  can  drive  a  character  over  an  immediate 
obstacle,  but  what  you  want  is  to  lead — it  is  that  which 
educates  character."  It  is  a  curious  thing  that  he,  who 
was  extraordinarily  sensitive  to  the  sight  of  suffering, 
especially  in  animals,  to  whom  cruelty  was  so  odious  a 
vice,  and  who  did  not  like  to  see  plants  struck  with  a 
stick,  could  have  been  so  firm  an  advocate  of  punish- 
ment and  so  stern  in  the  infliction  of  it.  Some  old  pupil 
has  said  that  it  was  an  awful  sight  to  see  the  Headmaster 
fold  his  gown  round  him  and  cane  a  liar  before  the  school. 
Awful  no  doubt  it  was  ;  but  the  reason  of  his  extreme 
severity  to  that  particular  fault  lay,  I  believe,  in  the 
fact  that  it  had  been  his  own  boyish  temptation,  and 
was  therefore  to  be  relentlessly  combated  in  others.  But 
his  severity  had  in  it  something  painful,  because  it  was 
with  him,  though  he  did  not  fully  realise  it,  so  unnecessary: 
he  could  have  ruled  by  the  tongue,  and  yet  he  did  believe 
in  and  use  corporal  punishment  to  a  conspicuous  degree. 

There  was  a  peculiarly  weighty  quality  in  his  anger, 
due  perhaps  to  his  forcible  personality,  which,  when  exer- 
cising what  appeared  to  be  a  just  displeasure,  was  unwilling 

204  STERNNESS  aet.  30-44 

for  the  moment  to  take  into  consideration  any  extenuating 
circumstances.  Real  candour,  which  he  made  very  difficult, 
entirely  disarmed  him.  He  used  to  say  in  later  life  that 
he  thought  anger  hardly  ever  justifiable,  and  that  in  his 
younger  days  he  had  fallen  back  on  it  as  an  effective, 
though  disagreeable,  method  of  achieving  a  desired  object. 
Certainly  on  ourselves  as  children  my  father  exercised 
a  powerful  effect,  but  our  feeling  was  almost  as  much  awe 
as  love ;  he  did  not  always  clearly  remember  the  rules  he 
had  laid  down,  so  that  there  was  an  element  of  uncertainty 
about  his  justice.  He  never  punished  us,  but  his  dis- 
pleasure was  frightful  to  bear.  I  shall  never  forget  how 
when  once  as  children  we  were  in  his  study,  waiting  while 
he  finished  a  letter  before  he  showed  us  pictures,  my  eldest 
brother,  whom  my  father  idolised,  knocked  down  and  broke 
a  large  ivory-handled  seal.  All  that  my  father  said  was, 
"Martin,  you  naughty  boy,  you  must  forfeit  your  allowance 
to  pay  for  mending  that."  Apart  from  the  consequences 
of  the  deed — for  the  seal  appeared  to  us  of  priceless 
value,  and  my  own  idea  was  that  my  brother  would  sink 
into  an  indigent  old  age  with  his  allowance  still  going  to 
pay  for  the  damage — the  terror  of  the  incident  is  even  now 
indelibly  stamped  on  my  memory.  We  always  had  a 
Bible  lesson  on  Sunday  from  my  father,  we  walked  with 
him  and  were  often  sent  for  in  the  evening  to  look  at 
pictures  or  photographs.  Still,  all  these  things  were  then 
almost  more  of  an  honour  than  a  pleasure.  To  me  per- 
sonally, the  father  I  knew  in  later  years,  sympathetic, 
patient,  devotedly  affectionate,  outspoken  and  valuing 
frankness  in  suggestion  or  criticism,  seems  to  me  a 
different  person  from  the  stately  severe  father  of  my 
youth,  who  blew  his  nose  so  loudly  in  the  hall,  and  whom 
it  was  almost  a  relief  to  see  departing  in  cap  and  swelling 
silk  gown  down  the  drive. 

1859-1873  SEVERITY  205 

The  following  story  is  of  course  ben  trovato,  but  it 
illustrates  amusingly  the  feeling  of  awe  that  he  inspired, 
or  was  supposed  to  inspire.  My  father  did  not  approve  of 
his  masters  smoking,  and  many  were  the  devices  that  the 
tobacco-loving  were  obliged  to  resort  to,  to  enjoy  their 
luxury.  It  is  true  that  their  rooms  were  so  much  mixed 
up  with  the  boys'  premises  that  it  was  unseemly  and 
perhaps  created  difficulties  of  discipline  if  they  smoked 
much  by  day.  But  it  is  said  that  a  master  once,  lighting 
his  pipe  behind  a  hay-rick  near  the  College  on  a  summer 
afternoon,  found  a  boy  already  employed  there  in  pre- 
cisely the  same  manner ;  the  culprits  stared  at  each 
other,  and  entered  into  a  mutual  vow  of  secrecy,  instinc- 
tively and  instantly,  because  each  was  in  the  power  of 
the  other,  each  exposed  to  the  danger  of  the  Head- 
master's disapproval. 

I  may  mention  as  an  instance  of  my  father's  severity 
the  rule  that  he  made  for  his  Prefects  that,  as  setting  an 
example,  they  were  7iot  to  be  late  for  early  school :  it  was 
simply  not  to  be.  The  punishment  propounded  was — the 
first  time  nothing  ;  the  second  time  1000  lines  to  write  out ; 
the  third  time  turned  down  for  a  week  into  the  Fifth 
Form  ;  the  fourth  time  turned  down  for  the  rest  of  the 
half.  The  second  punishment  was  inflicted  about  three 
times,  the  third  once,  the  fourth  never. 

He  had  a  genius  for  the  detection  of  offences. 
Some  boys  once  robbed  an  orchard  of  a  neighbouring 
farmer — the  farmer  could  not  catch  them,  but  impounded 
a  cap,  which  he  gave  to  my  father.  Boys  were  supposed 
to  have  their  names  in  their  caps,  but  all  that  this  contained 
was  "Old  Bones."  My  father  sent  round  a  notice  that 
the  offenders  were  to  give  themselves  up — they  remained 
perdus.  He  then  assembled  the  school  to  announce  a 
general  punishment :  as  he  stood  watching  the  boys  come 

2o6  DEPRESSION  aet.  30-44 

in  to  take  their  places,  he  noticed  one,  on  a  back  bench, 
look  for  an  instant  with  a  half-smile  into  his  cap:  my 
father  waited  and  then  called  him  up  and  said,  "Give  me 
your  cap."  The  cap  had  the  same  or  some  similar  name 
written  in  it  ;  my  father  charged  him  with  the  offence 
and  he  confessed ;  to  the  boys  it  seemed  miraculous, 
hardly  human. 

I  do  not  think,  as  I  have  said,  that  my  father  was 
conscious  of  the  terror  that  he  could  inspire ;  he 
suffered  himself  much  from  shyness,  but  not  nervousness, 
and  from  a  great  deal  of  acute  mental  depression,  which 
in  early  days  had  a  blackness  and  fierceness  of  misery  that 
must  have  been  very  trying  to  those  most  nearly  connected 
with  him.  I  believe  that  he  never  attended  a  meeting  of 
the  Governors  without  saying  gravely  to  my  mother  that 
this  time  he  expected  to  receive  his  dismissal.  "He  had 
joked  about  it  before — but  tJds  time  he  was  serious."  One 
feature  of  my  father's  fits  of  depression  was  that  he 
thought  everything  was  going  wrong  and  that  no  one  was 
doing  his  duty :  in  this  mood  his  rebukes  were  terrible. 
An  assistant  of  his  has  told  me  that  he  once  heard  from  a 
boy  that  he  had  managed  to  shirk  a  calling  over  and  had 
attended  the  races  at  Ascot.  This  fact  he  mentioned  to 
a  colleague  and  it  reached  my  father's  ears.  The  assistant 
tells  me  that  he  has  never  passed  through  so  disagreeable 
an  experience  as  when  summoned  for  an  explanation. 
The  Headmaster's  view  was  (i)  that  in  a  question  of 
discipline,  where  the  violation  of  an  important  rule  was 
involved,  a  master  should  not  receive  a  boy's  confidence  at 
all,  (2)  that  such  a  confidence  should  not  be  betrayed, 
(3)  that  if  the  incident  were  to  be  made  known  to  anyone, 
it  should  be  communicated  to  the  Headmaster,  and  not  to 
a  colleague.  The  offender  was  reproached  with  want  of 
honour  and  loyalty,  inveterate  love  of  gossip,  and  told  he 

1859-1873  DEPRESSION  207 

was  unfit  for  any  position  of  responsibility.  My  father 
must  have  been  in  a  dark  mood.  Of  later  years  this 
depression  rather  manifested  itself  in  self-reproach  and 
a  feeling  of  deep  inadequacy ;  but  in  earlier  days  it  was 
mostly  concerned  with  the  shortcomings  of  others. 

Mr  Penny,  speaking  of  my  father's  depressed  moods, 
which  were  as  a  rule  sedulously  concealed  from  his  col- 
leagues, writes : — 

It  must  I  think  have  been  early  in  the  spring  of  1868  that 
Benson  for  the  only  time  in  my  presence  gave  way  to  a  fit  of 
despondency.  It  was  the  only  occasion  on  which  I  saw  him  in 
tears.  I  suppose  that  men  of  sanguine  temperament  are  always 
liable  to  such  reaction,  and  Benson  was  the  greatest  optimist  I 
have  ever  known.  Nothing  daunted  him  or  could  damp  his 
hopeful  way  of  looking  at  life.  Over  and  over  again  have  I 
sought  his  aid  in  the  midst  of  the  difficulties  and  perplexities 
and  doubts  which  beset  my  inexperience  and  diffident  tempera- 
ment ;  and  I  always  came  away  from  him  cheered  and  comforted, 
braced  and  exhilarated. 

It  was  my  regular  custom,  after  I  became  his  Secretary  in 
Sept.  1867,  to  go  to  his  study  as  soon  as  I  had  finished  my 
breakfast  and  wait  till  he  himself  came  out  from  the  dining- 
room,  where  he  had  been  breakfasting  with  Mrs  Benson  and  the 

But  one  morning  he  came  in  to  me  evidently  deeply  depressed. 
I  asked  what  was  the  matter  and  if  he  had  had  bad  news.  No ; 
but  he  was  feeling  utterly  baffled.  His  work  here  did  not  prosper. 
The  Governors  as  a  body  hostile  and  on  the  look-out  for  the  first 
sign  of  failure  in  his  administration.  Worse  than  all,  the  boys 
he  had  to  teach  were  so  heavy  and  unintellectual,  he  found  the 
Sixth  a  dead  weight  which  it  was  impossible  to  bear  up  against. 
And  here  he  burst  into  tears.  "  I  cannot  think,"  he  said,  "  what 
makes  my  teaching  here  so  ineffectual.  I  can  only  say  that  it 
was  very  different  at  Rugby."  I  hastened  to  say  everything 
which  I  hoped  would  comfort  him.  He  was  as  a  rule  so  buoyant, 
so  resourceful,  so  optimistic,  that  to  see  him  thus  cast  down  was 
terrible.  I  pointed  out  to  him  that  in  all  schools  and  in  all  parts 
of  every  school  there  came  at  intervals  a  time  of  dryness.  Every 
Form  master  knew  what  it  was  to  have  a  poor  Form,  on  whom 

2o8  QUICK   TEMPER  aet.  30-44 

apparently  all  labour  was  thrown  away  so  far  as  visible  results 
were  concerned.  And  that  I  felt  sure  it  was  so  with  his  present 
boys.  One  comfort  he  had,  which  was  that  they  were  genuinely 
good  boys,  well  in  hand,  and  not  lacking  in  industry,  and  his 
good  and  brilliant  teaching  must  tell  in  the  end.  And  I  was 
right.  Before  six  months  had  passed,  four  of  these  boys  had 
obtained  scholarships  or  exhibitions,  two  at  Oxford  and  two  at 
Cambridge.  These  successes  too  were  only  the  beginnings  of  his 
further  triumphs  in  the  remaining  years  of  his  Headmastership. 

Again,  speaking  of  my  father's  originally  quick  temper, 
and  of  the  control  which  he  gradually  acquired  over  it, 
Mr  Penny  writes  : — 

Personally  I  incurred  his  wrath  once  soon  after  I  went  to 
Wellington.  The  cause  of  offence  was  inconsiderable.  My 
dormitory  (the  Anglesey)  was  just  over  Benson's  study,  and  he 
used  to  pass  down  through  it  every  evening,  when  Chapel  was 
over,  to  go  into  his  own  house.  I  was  always  there  during 
"  Silence,"  and  for  a  while  after  it,  and  consequently  Benson  often 
entered  into  conversation  with  me  if  he  was  not  in  a  hurry,  or  had 
no  visitor  in  the  house.  One  evening  in  my  second  or  third  term 
Benson  stopped,  and  made  some  remarks  on  school  discipline, 
reflecting  on  my  having  broken  a  rule  in  regard  to  a  boy  either  in 
my  Form  or  Dormitory.  To  which  I  replied  somewhat  jauntily 
that  I  had  done  so  in  perfect  innocence,  for  I  had  never  heard  of 
the  rule  in  question.  In  an  instant  Benson's  manner  changed — 
his  brows  knitted  and  his  eyes  flashed.  "  You  must  have  known 
of  it,"  said  he  angrily.  I  foolishly  rejoined,  "If  you  had  sent 
round  a  notice  to  that  effect  in  my  time,  you  would  find  my 
signature  to  it.  But  I  am  certain  no  such  notice  has  ever  been 
sent  round  since  I  came."  "  Come  down  into  my  study.  Penny." 
And  I  followed  him  quaking.  Then  for  ten  minutes  he  poured 
out  all  the  vials  of  his  wrath  on  my  devoted  head.  I  was  so 
terrified  at  his  violence  that  I  thought  he  was  going  to  dismiss  me 
then  and  there.  I  felt  the  injustice  of  his  anger  so  acutely  that  I 
burst  into  tears  and  said  nothing  more  in  my  defence.  This  at 
once  mollified  him,  and  before  we  parted  he  asked  me  to  forgive 
him  if  in  his  heat  he  had  said  more  than  he  ought  to  have  done. 
I  never  again  experienced  such  a  tempest  of  wrath  at  his  hands. 
Even  then  "it  was  over  in  a  minute" — but  for  the  time  it  was 

1859-1873  ENTHUSIASM  209 

But  this  of  course  all  had  another  side ;  he  was  beloved 
and  admired  by  his  masters  for  his  enthusiasm  and 
generosity,  his  extreme  accessibility,  the  patience  and 
wisdom  of  his  counsel,  and  his  great  personal  courtesy. 
So  too  with  the  boys  ;  he  made  friends  of  his  Sixth  Form, 
and  sacrificed  much  personal  convenience  to  social  inter- 
course with  them  :  he  used  to  have  boys  in  to  breakfast 
with  him  two  or  three  times  a  week,  half  after  half.  I  can 
remember  that  there  were  always  two  or  three  boys,  such 
as  A.  W.  Verrall  and  Demetrius  Ghica,  who  were  on  terms 
of  such  easy  intimacy  as  to  drop  in  to  our  nursery  tea 
whenever  they  felt  inclined.  Again,  my  father  entertained 
his  assistants  frequently,  and  whenever  a  new  master  was 
appointed,  he  made  a  point  of  asking  him  to  stay  at  the 
Lodge  for  the  first  fortnight  or  so  of  his  life  at  the  College, 
so  as  to  put  their  relations  on  a  footing  of  personal 
intimacy.  And  when  my  father  was  gracious,  who  was 
ever  so  gracious?  His  eager  deference,  his  anxiety  to 
take  up  any  subject  that  seemed  likely  to  interest  his 
companion,  made  him  the  most  charming  of  entertainers. 
And  these  qualities  grew  every  year. 

Canon  Mason,  now  Lady  Margaret  Professor  of  Divinity 
at  Cambridge,  who  was  for  a  time  an  Assistant-Master  at 
Wellington,  writes : — 

For  the  first  week  or  so  that  I  was  there,  I  stayed  with  him  at 
the  Lodge,  and  I  saw  a  great  deal  of  him  all  that  term.  I  took  my 
form  of  small  boys  for  the  first  time  on  a  Sunday  afternoon. 
Dr  Benson  came  with  me  to  the  door  of  the  great  Schoolroom, 
and  when  I  said  I  had  never  taken  a  form  like  that  before,  he 
said  "  Go  in  as  if  you  had  been  accustomed  to  it  all  your  Hfe." 
I  used  to  go  to  him  with  all  my  difiiculties.  He  knew  the  boys 
thoroughly.  There  were  two  very  troublesome  little  brothers  in 
the  form.  When  I  spoke  to  him  about  them,  he  said  "  What  can 
you  expect  of  them?  Their  grandmother" — their  father  was 
(jead — "is  a  rigid  Calvinist,  who  will  not  let  them  speak  above 

B.   I.  14 


a  whisper  on  Sundays,  while  their  mother  is  a  follower  of  Stopford 
Brooke," — who  had  not  then  openly  seceded  from  the  Church — 
"and  comes  here,  saying,  'Thank  God  that  we  have  got  rid  of 
that  old  fable  of  the  Trinity.'"  One  day  I  could  not  find  out 
which  of  two  boys  was  to  blame  for  some  misdemeanour,  each 
of  them  laying  the  blame  on  the  other.  I  asked  him  what  I 
should  do;  he  advised  me  to  punish  them  both.  "Selfishness 
is  on  the  surface  at  that  age,"  he  said,  "but  generosity  lies  very 
little  below  it."  I  took  his  advice  and  kept  both  boys  in  after  the 
next  lesson.  One  of  them  at  once  came  up  to  me  and  owned 
that  it  was  his  fault. 

Mr  Penny  supplied  me  with  an  interesting  account,  too 
long  to  quote  in  extenso,  of  the  suppression  of  some  insub- 
ordination at  Wellington  by  the  Prefects  in  1866,  and  of 
the  part  which  my  father  took  in  it.  The  original  offence 
was  the  letting  off  of  some  fireworks  ;  the  Prefects  held  a 
meeting  to  investigate  the  matter, but  could  discover  nothing. 
They  thereupon  determined  to  act  boldly  and  keep  in  the 
whole  school  for  a  half-holiday  afternoon,  writing  lines. 
They  appealed  to  the  Headmaster  to  authorise  this.  He  at 
first  demurred,  but  when  the  head  of  the  School,  Giles  by 
name,  a  boy  of  remarkable  tenacity,  represented  to  him 
that  he  himself  had  always  urged  the  Prefects  to  exercise 
their  authority,  and  that  in  the  second  place  they  would 
be  utterly  discredited  if  nothing  were  done,  he  gave 
way :  but  he  was  very  nervous  about  the  issue  of  the 

Mr  Penny  writes  : — 

The  general  opinion  of  the  Masters  was  the  same  as  Benson 
himself  had  formed  on  the  hearing  of  Giles'  plan  for  the  first 
time,  but  upon  the  whole  they  were  inclined  to  think  with  Benson 
now,  that  the  matter  had  better  be  carried  through  as  the  Prefects 

I  have  no  doubt  that  Benson  hereupon  took  every  care  in 
consultation  with  Giles  that  this  plan  should  be  completely 
organised  with  due  regard  to  every  detail.     The  School  generally 


thought  that  the  plan  had  been  abandoned,  and  on  Nov.  9th 
the  usual  half-holiday  was  announced  after  dinner  in  the  dining- 
hall  in  the  customary  manner  immediately  after  Grace :  "  There 
will  be  Calling  Over  this  afternoon  at  the  usual  time." 

But  when  Spurling  began  to  call  over  in  front  of  Great  School 
it  was  seen  that  the  Prefects  did  not  at  once  disperse,  but  that 
each  Form  below  the  Sixth  was  conducted  by  the  most  powerful 
Prefects  to  a  suitable  Class-room  where  a  sufficient  number 
remained  to  keep  order  and  exact  the  lines  which  were  to  be 
written.  The  Forms  which  it  was  thought  would  be  most  inclined 
to  rebel  were  collected  in  Great  School  under  the  charge  of  three 
of  the  physically  strongest  boys  in  the  Sixth.  Meanwhile  Benson 
had  requested  all  the  Masters  to  be  in  College  instead  of  going 
away  for  a  walk  or  other  exercise,  so  as  to  be  on  the  spot  in  case 
of  any  outbreak  or  sign  of  rebellion.  And  he  himself  came  in 
cap  and  gown  to  my  sitting-room  with  a  bundle  of  exercises  of  the 
Sixth,  which  he  proceeded  to  look  over  in  silence.  The  only 
remark  he  made  to  me  as  he  came  in  was :  "  Penny,  I  think  this 
is  the  most  critical  day  in  the  history  of  the  College."  I  could  see 
he  was  much  agitated  and  that  he  could  hardly  control  his  nerves, 
so  acute  was  their  tension.  I  was  of  a  very  similar  temperament, 
but  endeavoured  to  occupy  myself  with  work,  and  together  we 
looked  over  papers  in  silence,  waiting  in  the  sharpest  anxiety  for 
Spurling,  who  was  to  come  to  us  when  calling  over  was  finished, 
or  send  a  messenger  if  anything  happened  in  the  course  of  it  that 
required  Benson's  intervention  and  help. 

Calling  over  in  general  required  about  twenty  minutes,  but  on 
this  occasion,  as  was  natural,  took  longer  time  to  get  through — I 
suppose  a  full  half-hour, — and  I  think  it  was  the  longest  half-hour 
I  ever  spent.  Suddenly  Spurling's  springing  step  was  heard  at  the 
end  of  the  long  passage  leading  to  my  rooms,  and  to  our  great 
relief  he  burst  into  the  room,  his  face  beaming  with  smiles. 
Everything  had  passed  off  quietly.  The  School  had  submitted  to 
the  inevitable,  and  were  at  that  moment  engaged  in  writing  lines 
in  the  various  Class-rooms  and  Great  School. 

Accordingly  Benson  and  I  breathed  again  and  took  counsel  as 
to  what  should  be  our  next  move.  We  knew  of  course  that  when 
the  "detention"  was  over  the  School  would  be  very  angry  and 
probably  inclined  to  "blow  off  steam"  in  some  form  or  other.  It 
would  therefore  be  wise  on  our  part  to  be  on  the  spot  and  in 
evidence  when  they  rushed  out  of  College,  as  they  would  be  sure 

14 — 2 

212  AUTHORITY   OF   PREFECTS  aet.  37 

to  do  in  the  short  interval  between  the  two  hours'  detention  and 
the  final  Locking-Up  Calling  Over  at  ^  to  6  p.m.  So,  after 
walking  round  the  Quadrangle  and  surveying  the  state  of  affairs 
from  the  outside,  we  took  off  our  caps  and  gowns  and  went  for  a 
short  walk  in  the  College  Grounds,  taking  care  to  be  on  the  turf 
when  the  boys  came  rushing  forth  about  5.30  p.m.  They  were 
very  excited,  and  reminded  us  of  an  angry  swarm  of  bees  which 
cannot  make  up  its  mind  to  settle  anywhere.  Some  few  took  to 
Punt-about,  but  there  was  a  good  deal  of  shouting  and  cheering 
and  rough  horse-play,  apparently  made  with  a  view  of  attracting 
our  attention.  We  however  continued  to  walk  up  and  down  as  if 
nothing  unusual  was  happening,  and  presently  they  all  dispersed 
into  the  College  for  the  ordinary  Calling  Over  at  Lock-Up  in  the 
several  dormitories.  Then  followed  tea,  and  I  had  just  propria 
motii  gone  towards  the  dining-hall  to  see  how  that  meal  was 
progressing,  when  I  met  Benson  coming  round  the  corner  in  cap 
and  gown  bent  on  the  same  errand.  The  excitement  was  over, 
and  the  boys  had  evidently  nothing  further  in  hand  but  the 
refreshment  of  the  inner  man,  for  the  time  being,  with  food.  So 
we  walked  away  towards  the  door  leading  to  the  Master's  Lodge, 
of  which  Benson  and  I  alone  had  private  keys.  He  then  told  me 
that  he  had  been  for  some  days  engaged  to  dine  out  that  evening, 
with  Kingsley  at  Eversley  Rectory,  and  the  question  was,  should 
he  go.  Or  should  Mrs  Benson  go  without  him, — he  would 
write  and  explain  why  he  did  not  feel  it  right  to  come.  I  at  once 
begged  him  to  go.  He  said  that  if  I  felt  the  least  nervous  (for  I 
was  the  Senior  Master  in  College  and  had  any  rebellion  occurred 
I  should  have  had  to  deal  with  it)  he  would  stay.  I  replied  that 
I  felt  sure  that  there  was  now  no  cause  for  alarm,  and  that  it 
would  be  best  on  all  accounts  that  he  should  go  out  and  dine  at 
Eversley.  I  have  often  felt  since  that  I  was  braver  in  those  days 
than  I  should  have  been  in  later  years. 

Benson  accordingly  went  to  Eversley,  and  in  the  course  of  the 
evening  after  dinner  told  Kingsley  the  incidents  of  the  day. 
Kingsley  was  delighted,  and  congratulated  Benson  on  having  so 
trained  a  body  of  Prefects  that  they  were  willing  to  aid  him  in  the 
good  government  of  the  School,  and  prophesied  that  he  would  be 
able  in  consequence  of  this  proof  of  their  power  and  cohesion  to 
utilize  them  still  further.     And  so  it  proved. 


I  subjoin  an  interesting  letter  which  my  father  wrote  at 
a  later  date,  commenting  upon  a  somewhat  similar  case,  to 
my  mother  who  was  then  in  Germany. 

Wellington  College. 

November  8,   1872. 
My  Dearest  Wife, 

I  returned  to  find  hideously  bad  lying  on  the  part  of 
three  boys  who  had  misbehaved.  I  have  sent  two  of  them  away. 
And  yesterday  the  school  lost  their  half-holiday,  as  notice  had 
been  given  some  months  ago  that  if  any  member  of  the  school 
persisted  in  untruth  they  would  all  suffer.  So  we  all  turned  in, 
all  masters,  all  prefects,  all  boys,  and  by  writing  lines  did  penance 
— it's  quite  like  the  ancient  and  true  principle  of  sackcloth  and 
ashes — for  two  hours.  Some  people  would  say  there  was  no 
justice  in  it,  but  vicarious  suffering  not  only  represents,  but  is 
justice.  It  is  the  sinfulness  of  society  which  breaks  out  in  the 
sins  of  individuals,  and  if  society  punished  itself  instead  of 
"making  examples"  there  would  soon  be  no  examples  to  make. 
We  had  also  a  strong  and  very  interesting  meeting  at  night  in  the 
Library  and  I  was  exceedingly  pressed  to  punish  the  boys  before 
the  school,  and  I  absolutely  declined,  though  expressing  the 
greatest  deference  for  the  opinions  expressed.  I  told  the  masters 
I  valued  their  counsels  above  everything,  but  I  could  not  consent 
to  act  on  the  opinion  of  a  majority  if  it  was  opposed  to  my  own. 
I  think  they  liked  it  rather  than  otherwise,  and  the  effect  on  the 
school  has  apparently  been  excellent — all  say  so,  even  those  who 
were  against  me. 

The  boys  look  at  me  like  angels  and  are  better  than  ever,  and 
there  is  indeed  little  reason  to  complain  at  any  time.  I  made  the 
mathematical  Sixth  who  had  shown  some  levity  a  long  speech  and 
I  never  saw  fellows  so  impressed.  Now  you  will  think  I  have 
had  no  time.  But  as  always  in  storms  is  the  case  my  spirits  rise, 
and  I  am  iiinch  better  for  the  difficulty. 

Ever  your  loving  husband, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

My  father  devoted  a  great  deal  of  time  and  labour  to 
his   Sixth   Form   work,  and   expected    from    his   boys   an 

214  TEACHING  aet.  30-44 

almost  excessive  thoroughness.  The  clever  boys  were 
probably  stimulated  by  the  pressure,  but  boys  of  average 
intelligence  were  rather  crushed  by  the  amount  of  work 
expected  and  depressed  by  the  impossibility  of  attaining 
to  the  Headmaster's  ideal  of  perfection.  The  Rev.  Walter 
Moyle,  Rector  of  Ashcombe,  Dawlish,  has  sent  me  some 
interesting  reminiscences  of  his  teaching.  He  says,  speak- 
ing of  my  father's  lessons  in  Guizot's  "History  of  Civilization 
in  Europe," 

What  we  used  to  do  was  to  prepare  a  certain  amount  one 
evening  in  the  week  and  do  it  in  class  at  first  lesson  next  morning 
— that  is,  vivA  voce.  In  setting  the  lesson  the  Master  would 
generally  give  us  references  to  quite  half-a-dozen  other  books — 
bearing  on  the  passage  to  be  prepared — and  expected  us  to  go  to 
the  School  library  and  get  these  passages  up.  We  read  in  this 
way,  besides  the  Guizot,  a  good  deal  of  the  following  books  : 
Thierry's  Nouveaux  R'ecits  de  Vhistoire  Rotnaine ;  Etudes  de 
Litterature,  by  Villemain,  and  also  Duruy's  Histoire  du  Moyai 
Age.  I  used  to  dread  these  lessons,  for  in  those  days,  at  any 
rate,  I  knew  hardly  any  French,  and  the  learning  even  to 
translate  several  pages  was  in  itself  a  prodigious  labour.  I  have, 
after  diligent  search,  found  the  following  questions  set  by  him 
on  some  part  of  the  "  History  of  Civilization  in  Europe "  and 
transcribe  them  as  you  request : — 

1.  What  does  Guizot  state  as  the  chief  moral  results  of  the 
change  in  the  condition  of  the  Communes  ? 

2.  What  was  the  prevalent  feeling  in  the  12th  century,  and 
later  still  of  the  mass  of  burgesses,  with  respect  to  their  rights  in 
the  matter  of  government  ? 

3.  What  is  the  origin  of  the  desire  for  political  power  ?  Show 
that  the  causes  were  not  at  that  time  in  existence. 

4.  Was  the  individual  burgess-character  devoid  of  enterprise  ? 

5.  Trace  the  history  of  municipalities  under  and  after  the 
Roman  Empire,  and 

6.  The  relation  of  municipalities  to  seigniorial  government 
and  the  gradual  attainment  of  sovereign  power. 

A  clever  prefect,  chafing  under  the  amount  of  work 
entailed  by  one  of  these  lessons,  wrote  the  following  parody 

1859-1873      REMINISCENCES— DR   VERRALL  215 

of  the  weekly  questions,  which  he  affixed  to  the  notice- 
board  in  the  Sixth  Form  Room.  Mr  Moyle  tells  me  that 
he  was  reading  them  with  great  amusement  when  he  heard 
a  rapid  step,  which  he  recognised  as  the  Headmaster's, 
coming  along  the  passage  leading  to  the  room.  He  in- 
stantly tore  the  questions  down,  and  put  them  in  his 
pocket  just  in  time  to  save  his  friend's  reputation.  He 
showed  me  the  original  MS. 

I  St  Lesson. — Saturday. 

The  next  two  lines  and  a  half  in  Guizot. 

A  small  portion  only  is  set  because  it  is  wished  that  the 
following  illustrative  points  should  be  thoroughly  got  up  : — 

1.  The  number  of  words  and  the  number  of  letters  in  the 
passage  set. 

2.  All  other  forms  of  meaning  which  the  passage  can  be 
made  to  assume  by  the  permutation  of  words  and  letters. 

3.  The  weight  and  dimensions  of  the  volume. 

4.  The  manufacture  of  paper,  and  the  various  uses  to  which 
paper  is  applied. 

5.  The  history  of  printing  from  the  earliest  times,  with  life  of 
Caxton,  and  description  of  the  modern  process. 

6.  Memoir  of  Didier  et  C'^. 

7.  Lives  of  all  the  commentators  on  all  the  biographies  of 
all  the  historians  of  the  times  referred  to. 

8.  The  continental  Bradshaw. 

N.B. — Dr  Benson  is  positively  resolved  not  to  set  any  im- 
positions, which  he  abhors,  but  if  anyone  fails  to  answer  perfectly 
a  single  question,  he  will  write  out  5  times  Dr  Benson's  MS. 
notes  on  this  passage,  made  at  the  age  of  six,  and  consisting  of 
20  closely  written  pages  of  foolscap  4to. 

Dr  A.  W.  Verrall,  Tutor  of  Trinity  College,  Cambridge, 
who  was  at  Wellington  College  from  1865  to  1869,  writes  : — 

In  giving  a  characteristic  impression  of  our  Headmaster,  as 
he  appeared  to  myself,  there  arises  a  difficulty  which  only  with  the 
help  of  the  reader  can  be  overcome.  No  representation  of  what 
he  was  anywhere,  and  at  Wellington  in  particular,  can,  as  I  think, 
be  fair  or  complete,  unless  strong  and  supreme  emphasis  is  laid 

2i6  REMINISCENCES— DR   VERRALL     aet.  36-40 

upon  his  advantages  of  person  and  bearing.  And  yet  experience 
has  proved  to  me  the  danger,  in  dwelling  on  such  topics,  of 
suggesting,  and  even  seeming  wilfully  to  suggest,  some  discrepancy 
between  the  outward  man  and  the  inner,  some  colour  of  pretence. 
The  best  I  can  do  is  to  state  my  thoughts  exactly  as  they  arise, 
and  to  rely  upon  a  friendly  interpretation.  As  a  Headmaster 
and  always,  to  my  eyes,  he  was,  first  of  all  and  above  all,  an 
unsurpassable  actor  of  noble  parts ;  and  this  he  was  by  virtue 
of  two  qualities,  first,  the  extraordinary  range  of  his  social  and 
personal  interests,  and  secondly,  his  high  estimate  of  spectacular 
function  as  an  index  and  monitor  of  such  interests,  a  visible 
picture  of  society,  directly  corrective  through  physical  sensation 
to  narrowness,  lowness,  and  selfishness.  It  is,  I  am  certain,  no 
delusion  of  boyish  awe  and  enthusiasm,  which  would  find  an 
important  lesson  for  life  in  having,  for  some  years,  daily  seen 
Dr  Benson  come  into  Chapel.  The  scene  stands  out  so  strongly 
in  my  recollection,  and  so  expresses  what  I  believe  to  have  been 
the  very  heart  of  the  matter,  that  it  must  be  noticed  in  some 

Punctual  always,  and  demanding  punctuality,  he  was  extremely 
severe  in  the  preparation  for  this  assembly  and  entrance.  In  the 
very  long  cloister  or  passage,  which  leads  from  the  courts  to  the 
Chapel  itself,  no  one  might  pass  the  Headmaster.  To  be  behind 
him  was  to  be  late  and  absent,  a  serious  affair.  Even  to  be  but 
a  little  in  front,  and  so  to  disturb  the  minute  of  silence  and 
expectation,  which  normally  preceded  his  coming,  was  an  error 
which,  in  a  senior  or  leading  boy,  he  would  certainly  manage  to 
bring  home.  The  seats  of  the  Sixth  Form  were  near  his  own 
stall ;  if  any  of  us  sat,  stood,  or  rose  singularly  and  awkwardly,  it 
would  be  noted ;  and  on  more  than  one  occasion,  when  a  certain 
laxity  had  spread  among  us,  we  had  a  grave  and  public  rebuke. 
I  seldom  saw  upon  his  face  a  more  humiliating  expression  (and 
he  had  a  great  command  of  such  expression)  than  when  once, 
being  then  head  of  the  school,  I  distinguished  myself  uninten- 
tionally by  ignoring  a  reminder  of  this  kind.  Now  if  anyone  will 
consider  what  boys  are,  he  may  imagine  what  was  the  merit  of  the 
Headmaster's  own  performance,  when  it  is  said  that,  amid  plenty  of 
inevitable  restiveness,  there  was  scarcely  a  private  murmur  among 
us  against  the  punctilio  of  these  arrangements.  So  stately  and 
beautiful  was  the  thing  to  which  they  led,  so  ornamental  to  our 
common    life,    so    full    of  a    social   and   religious   poetry,   which, 

]865-i869      REMINISCENCES— DR   VERRALL  217 

without  knowing  it,  we  felt.  And  nowhere  perhaps  could  this 
have  told  with  better  or  more  valuable  effect,  than  among  a  young 
company  of  whom  very  many,  by  memory  or  prospect,  were 
associated  with  the  severity  of  the  army. 

On  many  other  occasions,  in  fact  on  all  possible  occasions,  he 
achieved  the  same  artistic  success.  Very  remarkable  was  his 
management  of  Speech-Day,  when,  owing  to  the  peculiar  con- 
nexions of  the  College,  so  much  transcending  in  dignity  what  was, 
in  those  early  days  at  any  rate,  its  weight  and  significance  with 
the  pubUc,  the  position  of  the  Headmaster  was  difficult.  The 
personages  with  whom  he  had  to  act,  both  then  and  frequently, 
made  a  group  in  rank  and  power  out  of  all  proportion  to  the 
scene  and  to  the  natural  height  of  his  own  office.  During  my 
four  years  and  a  half  (1865-1869)  I  must  have  seen  in  contact 
with  him  the  greater  part  of  what  was  then  most  exalted  in 
England.  Yet  I  never  saw,  either  then  or  for  that  matter  after- 
wards, any  personage  (with  one  single  exception)  over  whom,  if 
and  so  far  as  it  was  proper,  the  Headmaster  could  not  easily  take 
the  lead.  The  single  exception,  his  only  rival,  as  I  should 
estimate,  in  visible  nobility,  was  Lord  Derby  (the  Premier),  of 
whose  ways  and  bearing  in  general  I  of  course  know  little  or 
nothing,  but  who  certainly  could  on  occasion  do  what  no  one  else 
could  that  ever  I  saw,  that  is,  act  up  to  the  level  of  Benson. 

In  judging  from  what  internal  disposition  this  outward  effect 
proceeded,  we  necessarily  quit  the  limits  of  that  which  can  be 
tested  or  proved.  For  myself  I  am  convinced — and  the  Arch- 
bishop showed  himself  to  me  in  every  kind  of  unguarded  intimacy 
during  many  years — that  his  grandeur  in  social  function  was  simply 
the  expression  of  his  strangely,  and  in  very  truth  incredibly  vivid 
interest  in  persons  and  their  social  relations  to  one  another.  He 
acted  well  the  greatness  of  large  human  connexions,  because  he 
intensely  felt  it.  As  a  judge  of  character  it  may  be  doubted 
whether  he  was  particularly  acute.  About  us  boys  he  was,  I 
think,  often  deceived,  and  sometimes  deceived  himself.  But  the 
extent  and  minuteness  of  what  he  knew  about  us,  and  about  all 
with  whom  he  had  occasion  to  deal,  was  amazing.  Again  and 
again  he  has  reminded  me,  or  others  in  my  presence,  of  things 
which  it  might  seem  hard  to  notice  and  impossible  to  retain,  a 
casual  remark,  a  change  of  appearance,  a  temporary  link  of 
friendship  or  acquaintance.  Once,  and  I  think  only  once,  he 
stayed  for  a  short  time  near  my  paternal  home,  and  visitc-d  there ; 

2i8  REMINISCENCES— DR   VERRALL     aet.  36-40 

yet  he  had  ahvays  a  definite  and  true  image  in  his  mind  both 
of  the  house  and  the  inmates,  and  referred  to  them  with  the 
natural  dexterity  of  knowledge.  Of  the  life  which  many  of  us 
lived  at  Wellington,  at  least  in  its  external  features,  he  could  to 
the  last,  I  feel  sure,  have  given  a  much  more  lifelike  account 
than  we  could  ourselves ;  and  knowing  with  what  ease  he  could 
put  us  to  the  blush,  I  have  often  admired  his  honourable  mercy. 
But — and  here  is  the  distinctive  point — this  wealth  of  recollected 
details  arose  with  him  neither,  as  it  might  with  some  able  men, 
from  natural  tenaciousness  of  the  mind,  nor,  as  it  comes  to  most 
of  those  who  in  fact  have  any  such  store,  from  mere  curiosity,  but 
from  a  genuine  unaffected  sense  of  the  importance  and  far-reaching 
effect,  which  belongs,  by  the  action  of  society,  to  the  proceedings 
of  every  individual,  however  small.  It  may  seem  absurd,  but  it  is 
simply  true,  that,  as  a  wide  and  general  rule,  the  affairs  of  each 
person  seemed  to  be  more  interesting  in  the  eyes  of  Benson,  to 
look  altogether  larger  and  more  significant,  than  the  agent  himself 
esteemed  them.  After  a  talk  with  him,  you  thought  better  of 
your  concerns  generally  than  you  did  before.  Hundreds  have 
told  me  the  same. 

How  keen  was  his  interest  in  the  corporations  and  associations 
upon  which  he  himself  acted  directly,  it  is  not  easy  to  convey. 
Like  all  strong  personal  traits,  it  might  in  certain  aspects  provoke 
a  smile.  At  Wellington,  as  afterwards  in  all  his  growing  circles, 
the  society  to  which  he  belonged  always  was,  according  to  him, 
the  most  promising,  capacious,  original  phenomenon  that  you 
could  overlook.  The  commonplace  phrases  "infinite  possibility," 
"endless  consequence,"  "immeasurable  influence,"  were  to  him 
ever-present  realities,  and  attached  themselves  to  the  most  ordinary 
and  trivial  things  ;  while  at  the  same  time,  instead  of  the  chill  and 
apprehension,  which  more  often  accompanies  a  scrupulous  sense  of 
far  issues,  he  went  on  almost  always,  especially  in  the  fulness 
of  his  physical  strength  at  Wellington,  with  a  bright  and  even 
a  gay  spirit.  Faith  had  its  effect ;  and  the  outcome,  that  was 
looked  for,  ultimately  came.  An  instance,  small  but  characteristic, 
was  the  style  of  decoration,  strange  at  the  time,  which  was  intro- 
duced, chiefly  if  not  entirely  by  his  instruction  and  encouragement, 
into  the  carved  capitals  of  the  exterior  arcade  in  the  Chapel.  The 
workmen,  though  capable  of  much  more,  would  have  cut  them 
from  pattern-books.  The  Headmaster,  though  'no  artist,  per- 
suaded them    to  model  and   compose  designs  from   the  natural 

1865-1869      REMINISCENCES— DR   VERRALL  219 

products  of  the  place,  the  heather,  the  pines,  and  the  rest.  The 
innovation  was  in  the  spirit  of  current  criticism ;  but  perhaps  few, 
with  no  stronger  leverage,  would  have  thought  to  make  it ;  and 
fewer  still  would  have  done  so  under  the  conviction  that  the 
example  would  prove,  as  it  did,  very  fertile  and  stimulating  else- 
where. But  in  this,  as  in  greater  matters,  he  was  profoundly, 
pathetically  conscious  of  the  seminal  chances  in  things.  This, 
I  believe,  was  the  key  to  his  greatness  of  action  and  the  secret  of 
his  wide  effect. 

How  far  he  used  any  conscious  art  in  gathering  his  immense 
material  of  personal  acquaintance  and  perception  of  social  links, 
I  do  not  feel  able  to  say,  but  I  think,  little  or  none  at  all.  Certainly 
nothing  seemed  to  move  his  amusement  so  much  as  manoeuvres  in 
that  direction.  There  is  a  story  of  this,  which  will  show  also  his 
freedom  from  stiffness  and  conventionality,  and  how  little  his 
singular  dignity  depended  upon  artificial  defences.  Bishop  Wilber- 
force,  then  Bishop  of  Oxford,  had  paid  his  regular  visit  to 
Wellington,  and  as  usual  (for  he  also  was,  among  other  things,  an 
admirable  performer  of  ceremonies)  had  produced  a  deep  im- 
pression. There  was  an  evening  party  at  the  Master's  to  meet 
him,  and  some  of  us  elder  boys  were  invited.  In  the  midst  of 
the  crowd  and  noise  all  became  suddenly  aware  that  the  Bishop 
and  the  Master  had  fallen  into  some  discourse  of  uncommon 
gravity.  Pursuing  this,  the  Bishop,  with  what  seemed  remarkable 
grace,  cleared  a  way  for  both  into  a  recess  of  the  room,  where 
they  remained  for  some  minutes,  visible  but  in  seclusion,  and 
were  regarded,  as  may  be  supposed,  with  general  respect  and 
curiosity.  Next  day  the  Master  took  me  for  a  walk,  and 
suddenly,  when  something  was  being  said  about  the  Bishop, 
asked  if  I  should  like  to  know  what  had  been  spoken  in  the 
window.  "  When  we  were  quite  apart,  he  dropped  his  voice  a 
little  and  said,  Who  is  the  lady  in  green .? "  My  amazement 
was  probably  a  fresh  source  of  mirth  ;  at  all  events  either  at 
the  Bishop  or  at  me  he  laughed  until  I  very  willingly  laughed 
too.  Discreet  or  not,  such  a  confidence  was  very  winning;  nor 
was  it,  I  believe,  at  all  exceptional ;  nor  did  it  diminish  anything 
from  the  awe  which  he  inspired,  especially  among  those  of  us  who 
were  old  enough,  and  otherwise  able,  to  enter  at  all  into  the 
habitual  cast  of  his  thoughts.  Long  afterwards,  the  same  de- 
lightful and  unartful  arts  were  displayed  on  the  largest  of  scenes  ; 
and  however  his  ecclesiastical  administration  may  be  judged  from 

2  20  REMINISCENCES— L)R   VERRALL     aet.  36-40 

other  points  of  view,  certainly  none  was  ever  more  graciously  and 
beneficially  acceptable  to  the  people  at  large. 

At  Wellington  with  the  boys  he  was  not  perhaps,  properly 
speaking,  popular.  I  doubt  whether  this  quality  ever,  unless  in 
very  exceptional  cases,  should  belong  to  a  Headmaster ;  but  that 
is  matter  of  opinion.  His  difficulties  arose  directly,  as  difficulties 
commonly  do,  from  his  most  valuable  qualities,  and  were  the  price 
that  he  and  we  had  to  pay  for  them.  I  do  not  think  that  at  any 
time  the  number  of  those  who  misinterpreted  and  misrepresented 
him  was  very  great ;  but  they  were  active,  and  got  a  hearing.  It 
took  time,  and  some  favourable  opportunities,  to  convince  us  that 
any  human  being  could  care  about  other  human  beings,  as  such, 
so  much  as  the  Headmaster  "pretended"  to  do.  Nor,  as  may 
well  be  believed,  did  it  please  all  of  us  always  to  find,  that  he  knew 
so  much  of  us.  It  was  said  all  through  my  time,  and  as  a  young 
boy  I  firmly  believed,  that  he  "  went  spying  about."  Never  was  a 
more  ludicrous  or  more  pitiable  error ;  and  indeed  among  people  of 
experience,  grown  men,  no  corresponding  calumny  ever,  I  beHeve, 
got  hold.  But  it  weighed  with  boys,  and  was  the  cause  of  much 
irritation.  It  will  easily  also  be  understood,  how  his  sense  of 
greatness  and  dignity  in  all  affairs — though  the  school,  as  an 
institution  in  perilous  infancy,  reaped  the  benefit  of  it  richly,  and 
without  it,  I  think,  could  hardly  have  been  nursed  into  rapid 
success — both  lent  a  new  colour  to  the  charge  of  pretence,  and 
also  gave  rise  to  another  charge,  promoted  by  the  graver  sort  of 
malcontents,  that  he  was  "worldly."  This,  I  am  thankful  to 
remember,  I  never  thought  an  appropriate  epithet.  The  grain  of 
truth  in  it  was  just  this :  he  was  conscious,  as  honestly  he  could 
not  but  be,  of  his  power  to  radiate  life  and  warmth  to  the  furthest 
circle  that  he  should  ever  reach,  and  could  not  but  desire,  with 
that  kind  of  ambition  which  is  inseparable  from  such  an  organisa- 
tion, that  this  circle  might  have  an  indefinite  extent.  There  comes 
upon  me  strongly,  in  this  connexion,  the  memory  of  some  words 
which  he  spoke,  on  no  specially  solemn  occasion,  of  all  future  life 
as  an  endless  expansion  of  work ;  but  these  scarcely  belong  to  the 
special  boyish  view  of  him  with  which  I  have  to  deal. 

We  laughed  too  (and  here  the  most  serious  of  us,  without 
malice  or  disrespect,  joined  in)  at  his  rosy  ideals,  and  his  as- 
tounding power  of  believing  and  asserting  that  they  were  on  the 
point  of  realisation,  nay,  actually  were  and  had  been  realised. 
This,   if  I   may  say  so,  was  truly  a  weakness,   but  a  weakness 

1865-1869      REMINISCENCES— DR  VERRALL  221 

inseparable  from  his  strength.  He  could  not,  I  believe,  give  an 
uncoloiired  picture  of  any  society  in  which  he  was  vitally  interested, 
that  is  to  say,  of  any  society  whatever.  He  saw  so  vividly  the 
beautiful  thing  that  he  meant  to  create,  and  the  power  of  growing 
towards  this  perfection,  which  lay  in  the  thing  as  it  was,  that,  when 
he  came  to  describe  it,  real  and  ideal  insensibly  merged,  and  the 
unenthusiastic  began  to  gasp.  I  remember  particularly  the  general 
amazement,  and  almost  dismay,  which  was  created  by  a  certain 
printed  address  of  his  (to  a  conference  of  Headmasters,  I  think) 
describing  a  Sunday  at  Wellington.  Nothing  in  it  was  untrue  or 
even  exaggerated,  but  all  was  softened,  rounded,  illuminated  with 
a  sort  of  Claude  Lorraine  effect,  till  we  did  not  know  ourselves  in 
the  picture.  Soon  after  there  somehow  got  about  a  parody  of  it 
(if  such  a  thing  may  be  whispered)  in  doggerel  verse  by  one  of  the 
masters,  a  clever,  idle,  sensitive  man,  who  both  loved  and  hated 
the  Headmaster.  All  the  inharmonious  elements,  smoothed  off 
in  the  original,  were  restored  and  sharpened  in  the  parody : 

"  Calling-over — half-past  eight- 
Boys  have  lines  if  they  are  late ; 
But  the  lines  are  longer  far 
Than  the  lines  on  week-days  are." 
And  again  : 

"In  the  evening,  frank  and  free, 
Masters  asked  their  boys  to  tea. 
Where  at  once  they  could  dispense 
Tea  and  cake  and  influence." 

And  so  forth.  Rubbish  as  it  was,  no  conception  of  the  Head- 
master would  be  complete,  even  on  the  side  of  his  merits,  which 
did  not  bring  in  the  fact  that  such  a  satire  was  eagerly  applauded. 
But  these  diversions  did  neither  him  nor  us  any  harm,  and  repre- 
sented no  ill-feeling. 

From  the  same  amiable  and  generous  belief  in  his  ideals 
seemed  to  proceed  the  only  real,  substantial  defect  in  his 
management,  which,  looking  back  now,  and  since  I  have  been 
at  all  competent  to  judge,  I  should  be  disposed  to  admit.  Over- 
rating possibility,  he  was  a  taskmaster  often  hard,  and  sometimes, 
as  he  would  afterwards  recognise,  unjust.  In  the  Sixth  Form  we 
dreaded  particularly,  and  those  most  of  all  who  most  dearly  loved 
him,  his  occasional  visits  to  other  Headmasters.  Whether  they 
grumbled  or  boasted,  and  of  course  they  did  both,  our  Head- 
master would  come  back  primed  with  impossible  tests,  intellectual 

2  22  REMINISCENCES— DR   VERRALL     aet.  36-40 

and  moral,  over  which  he  believed  (here  was  the  point),  against 
likelihood  and  certainty,  that  we  should  radiantly  triumph  :  and 
dire  was  the  result.  I  remember  specially  one  awful  scene,  when 
he  announced  that  according  to  Mr  Bradley,  all  but  three,  I  think, 
of  the  Sixth  at  Marlborough  were  unable,  actually  unable,  to 
construe  rightly,  upon  a  sudden  challenge,  the  words  to  Xeyo/xerov 
fxr]8kv  ayav'  !  Now  this  snippet  of  Greek,  abruptly  flung  out, 
would  mow  down  any  youthful  class  of  Grecians  that  ever  existed. 
But  we  were  put  to  it  instanter,  and  with  the  cheerfuUest  ex- 
pectations;  and  our  product  came... something  short  of  that  at 
Marlborough.  Then  fell  the  storm,  rousing  of  course  no 
repentance  and  not  a  little  resentment.  The  affair  would  seem 
laughable  now,  if  I  could  laugh  over  anything  connected  with  his 
name  and  figure ;  but  it  vexed  me  then,  and,  I  can  truly  say,  for 
him  :  and  the  like  would  sometimes  happen  to  his  hurt  in  matters 
of  more  importance. 

Not  that  his  temper  was  stormy ;  nothing  could  be  more 
untrue ;  nor  were  our  relations  with  him  in  the  least  like  that 
series  of  explosions  and  reconciliations  by  which  some  successful 
teachers  seem  to  have  conquered  a  sort  of  familiar  reverence,  half 
terror  and  half  compassion.  His  indignation  was  a  great  weapon 
finely  commanded.  One  of  us  has  written,  most  truly,  of  the 
tremendous  effect  which  he  produced  on  occasions  of  public  re- 
proof or  punishment.  Yet  even  more  terrible  and  more  instructive 
was  his  self-control.  Never  was  more  taught  in  one  lesson  than  on 
a  certain  hot  Sunday  afternoon,  when  he  took  us  as  usual  in  Greek 
Testament.  Needless  to  say  that  on  this  subject  he  was  specially 
admirable  and  admired ;  and  needless  also  to  say  that  he  believed 
our  enjoyment  to  be  much  more  complete  than  in  fact  it  was.  On 
this  hot  afternoon  then,  an  able  ill-conditioned  fellow  was  "put 
on  "  to  translate  in  The  Good  Samaritan.  He  began  in  a  peculiar, 
sulky,  menacing  tone,  which  woke  us  all  up.  In  the  course  of  a 
few  verses  it  became  evident  that  he  was  deliberately  mocking, 
with  great  ingenuity,  a  certain  bald  style  of  "  construe,"  to  which 
sometimes  the  Headmaster,  out  of  enthusiasm  for  accuracy,  would 
compel  us,  perhaps  beyond  the  need,  to  resort.  He  went  through 
the  whole  parable,  scoring  points  in  every  line,  and  dropped  his 
last  dull  miserable  phrases  into  a  silence  which  I  can  hear  now. 
It  was  a  cruel  thing  to  do,  and  it  was  done  with  skill  consummate, 

^  "  Moderation  in  everything,  as  the  saying  is." 

1865-1869      REMINISCENCES— DR   VERRALL  223 

for  the  boy  (or  rather  man)  was  as  clever  as  could  be.  Dr  Benson 
corrected  him  once  or  twice  on  points  of  accuracy,  without  the  least 
change  of  voice  or  face,  and  went  on  as  if  nothing  had  happened. 
Yet  it  was  plain,  I  cannot  say  how,  but  so  it  was,  that  he  suffered 
horribly.  It  was  a  little  thing  perhaps,  but  it  was  worth  many 
expositions,  both  to  him  and  to  us.  I  cannot  say  what  I  felt 
towards  him  then,  what  I  still  feel.  His  look,  and  his  gesture 
as  he  put  down  the  mark  ! . . . 

As  a  disciplinarian,  and  in  the  infliction  of  punishment,  he 
was  thought  hard,  and  perhaps  he  was.  But  I  do  not  think  his 
sentences  were  lastingly  resented,  which  is  the  true  test  of  justice, 
at  least  for  boys.  One  quality  he  had  without  which  the  most 
equal  justice  is  in  domestic  government  the  most  pedantically 
absurd.  He  could  ignore,  without  seeming  not  to  know.  And 
he  could  wait.  During  my  first  year,  before  I  reached  the  Sixth, 
I  deserved  the  cane,  by  rule,  more  than  once,  and  for  some  time 
could  not  well  understand  my  escapes.  But  I  did  understand, 
dimly  but  effectually,  when  he  took  our  Form  in  viva  voce.  He 
cut  my  work  (which  was  very  good  in  its  way)  to  ribbons,  and 
made  me  a  miserable  laughing-stock  for  about  half  an  hour  on  end. 
Nothing  could  have  been  juster  or  more  to  the  purpose. 

Of  his  kindness  to  me,  and  to  many  another,  from  the  time 
when  we  came  within  the  range  of  personal  association  with  him,  I 
do  not  know  how  to  say  enough.  It  was  such,  that  only  the  debt 
of  truth  to  him  could  have  enabled  me  to  pursue  so  far  the 
unwelcome  task  of  trying  to  balance  his  merits  by  pro  and  con. 
He  saved  my  health  and  my  sense ;  I  believe  that  he  saved  my 
life.  At  fifteen  I  was  a  sensitive,  fanciful,  anaemic  creature,  such 
as  many  are  whom  it  would  be  a  mistake  to  kill.  I  was  not  really 
unfit  for  the  rough  and  vigorous  life  of  the  school ;  about  two 
years  later  I  began,  with  moderate  success,  to  govern  it.  But  at 
the  time  of  which  I  speak,  something  of  home-life,  something  like 
the  sympathetic  and  intelligent  circle,  from  which  I  came,  was 
almost  as  necessary  to  me  as  bread  and  butter.  All  my  masters 
did  much  for  me.  But  what  could  the  Headmaster  do?  I 
hardly  expect  to  be  believed,  when  I  say,  that  from  the  end  of 
my  first  term  in  the  Sixth  to  the  day  when  I  left  the  school,  I 
went  to  tea  at  his  house — a  free  informal  "  nursery  "  tea  which  he 
took  with  all  his  family — whenever  I  liked,  that  is  to  say  about 
twice  in  every  week,  and  it  might  be  oftener.  Every  summer  I 
went  to  them  for  long  visits,  at  the  sea-side,  or  wherever  it  might 

224  REMINISCENCES— DR   VERRALL     aet.  36-40 

be ;  and  indeed  ever  afterwards,  to  Wellington,  to  Lincoln,  to 
Truro,  I  was  bidden  and  constantly  reminded  to  invite  myself  just 
as  it  were  to  home.  Nor,  so  far  as  the  thing  was  at  all  possible, 
was  it  otherwise  even  at  Addington.  They  welcomed  us  every- 
where and  at  all  times,  both  he  and  one  of  whom  I  may  not 
more  fully  speak.  In  later  years  it  was  only  an  exquisite  and 
strengthening  pleasure  ;  to  some  of  us,  as  boys,  it  was  just  life. 

As  a  counsellor,  his  unrivalled  knowledge  of  detail  and  cir- 
cumstance, his  interest  in  the  individual,  gave  him  an  advantage 
above  any  general  wisdom.  He  felt  the  real  pinch.  I  am 
ashamed  to  be  still  talking  of  my  own  affairs ;  but  at  least  they 
are  what  I  know.  It  was  a  crisis  for  me,  when  I  saw  that,  after 
the  approaching  holidays,  I  should,  if  I  stayed  at  Wellington, 
almost  certainly  be  "  Head  of  the  School,"  a  really  laborious  and 
responsible  charge.  I  was  then  a  rapacious  student  and  (except 
perhaps  an  infamous  player  of  football)  nothing  else.  My  pertur- 
bation may  be  measured  by  my  helpless  impertinence.  Without 
any  intimation  of  the  Headmaster's  purposes,  I  actually  went  and 
told  him  that  I  could  not  be  "  Head,"  and  that  I  should  leave  !  I 
ought,  I  dare  say,  to  have  been  snubbed.  What  I  know  is,  that  a 
harsh  or  light  word  then  would  have  ruined  my  best  chance  in 
life,  and  (as  I  make  bold  to  say)  would  have  lost  a  good  year  to 
the  school.  Dr  Benson,  at  any  rate,  saw  and  believed,  as  the  fact 
was,  though  it  looked  otherwise,  that  I  was  in  the  veritable  agony 
of  a  nervous  conscience.  For  about  a  fortnight  he  discussed  the 
matter  with  me  almost  daily,  always  from  my  point  of  view,  and 
without  a  sign  of  the  disappointment  which,  with  only  too  much 
reason,  he  felt,  as  I  was  afterwards  to  learn.  He  brought  down, 
to  our  mutual  amazement  and  delight,  my  father,  instructed  in  the 
case.  In  a  fortnight  I  was  a  very  little  ashamed,  and  exceedingly 
sanguine.  And  during  my  year  I  was  to  the  Headmaster  like  a 
third  hand. 

To  act  with  him  was  like  being  in  a  sort  of  solemn  and  joyous 
drama.  Perhaps  (but  I  do  not  know)  he  tried  to  govern  single 
hearts  and  fates  a  little  too  much.  Of  the  personal  connexions 
which  he  brought  about  between  me  and  other  boys,  older  or  as 
afterwards  younger,  some  were  useful,  some  at  best  sterile.  But 
his  restless  care  was  a  great  call  in  itself. 

He  was  merciful,  or  could  be  so  if  he  saw  cause,  to  the  point, 
as  it  might  seem,  of  weakness.  In  me,  as  in  many  other  young 
fellows  of  tardy  physical  development,  it  was  then  a  fundamental 

1865-1869        REMINISCENCES— DR   VERRALL  225 

fact,  that  under  the  least  pressure  I  could  not  tell  a  disagreeable 
truth.  When  I  had  lied,  I  was  horrified ;  but  on  the  next  occasion 
I  lied  again.  The  notice  which  Dr  Benson  took  of  this  was  merely 
to  avoid,  with  scrupulous  and  delicately  perceptible  contempt,  all 
occasions  of  question.  I  can  date  very  exactly  my  first  useful 
repentance  and  beginning  of  amendment,  from  the  expression,  the 
look  of  self-reproach^  which  passed  rapidly  over  his  face,  when  a 
breach  of  his  custom  had  produced  the  predictable  result. 

Of  his  intellectual  teaching,  the  best  part  perhaps  was  his  talk, 
which  was  wonderfully  rich,  witty,  and  variously  adapted  to  the 
occasion  and  company.  In  class  he  was,  as  I  now  think  and 
suspected  even  then,  something  too  much  of  the  grammarian  and 
verbalist.  There  was  handed  down  among  us,  I  believe  as  a 
tradition  from  Rugby,  a  certain  imaginary  translation  by  him  from 
the  Georgics,  beginning  "  Co?itinuo — From  the  first  and  ail  along 
— in  silvis — in  the  wild  woods — none  of  your  trim  groves  ! — "  and 
so  on  ;  a  mere  parody  of  course,  but  not  without  points  However 
he  felt  and  taught  very  thoroughly  the  inadequacy  of  language ; 
and  perhaps  scholarship  can  accomplish  nothing,  in  the  deepest 
sense,  more  important.  And  he  both  could  stimulate  and,  still 
better,  could  liberate  the  enthusiasm  for  letters  which  in  youth,  if 
teachers  will  believe  it,  is  really  not  uncommon.  During  my  last 
two  years,  when,  with  his  help  and  others',  I  had  learned  how  to 
study,  my  class-work  was  reduced  more  and  more,  till  at  last  I 
was  scarcely  more  limited  than  a  freshman  at  the  University. 
The  method  was  at  least  so  far  successful  that,  when  I  went  to 
Cambridge,  I  had  already  read  more  classics  than  some  "  Seniors." 

He  had  this  disadvantage  that,  although  he  both  spoke  and 
wrote  impressively,  as  a  man  must  who  had  in  him  such  intense 
moral  force,  his  style  in  neither  was  a  good  or  a  safe  model. 
His  sermons  had  some  celebrity,  and  they  moved  us  greatly.  But 
it  was  not  by  the  understanding.  He  compressed  too  much,  and 
corrected  too  much,  both  mentally  and  with  the  pen.  To  the  last 
of  his  life  it  was  my  personal  experience,  that  his  public  documents, 
and  even  sometimes  his  most  refreshing  private  letters,  were  in 
places  scarcely  significant  to  me,  unless  and  until  I  had  completed 
them  in  imagination  by  his  glances,  movements,  and  tones.     It 

1  The  Prodigal  Son's  "after-care"  for  "repentance,"  the  Baptist  "wrapped 
about  in  woolly  shawls,"  are  instances  of  the  same  tendency  mentioned  by  one 
of  his  pupils. 

B.  I.  15 

226  REMINISCENCES— DR   VERRALL     aet.  36-40 

was  as  a  person  and  on  persons  that  he  had  to  act.  Happily  the 
range  of  his  personal  knowledge  and  interest  was  prodigious. 

It  was  reached  and  maintained,  at  Wellington  as  elsewhere,  by 
a  marvellous  and  a  dangerous  industry.  There  was  scarcely  an 
hour  of  the  day  or  night  at  which  he  was  not  often  working  hard. 
He  must  have  known,  I  think,  that  in  all  human  probability  he 
would  prove  to  have  fore-spent  his  old  age. 

He  enjoyed  profoundly,  and  with  a  sort  of  kindly  malice 
which  animated  the  enjoyment,  all  the  little  perplexities  and 
entanglements  of  the  daily  life — such,  for  instance,  as  this.  All 
the  Sixth  Form  must  compete  for  one  at  least  of  the  annual 
composition-prizes.  By  many  of  course  the  "  compositions  "  were 
vamped  up  at  the  last  moment  with  every  conceivable  device  of 
indolent  shabbiness.     Once,  on  the  last  night  for  the  "  Iambics,"  a 

certain  S descended  on  me  with  a  peremptory  demand  for 

"  spare  verses."  I  had  two  translations  ready,  in  almost  all  respects 
(such  was  my  notion  of  fidelity  to  the  original)  completely  different ! 
So  I  handed  over,  with  a  few  erasures,  the  one  which  I  had  decided 

not  to  "  run."    S ,  who  could  beat  me  when  he  pleased,  rapidly 

touched  it  up  into  something  which,  but  for  some  truly  incred- 
ible slips,  was  much  better   than   the    over-laboured   alternative 

which  I  retained.    I  got  the  prize,  and  S was  proxime.    When 

this  was  announced,  Benson  sent  for  us  both,  and,  under  the  form 
of  comparing  our  merits,  unravelled  the  whole  business,  to  our 
intense  misery  and  equally  intense  amusement.  What  was  done 
to  us  I  do  not  remember;  probably  at  that  time  nothing,  for  I 
certainly  had  the  prize  ;  and  doubtless  on  some  proximate  occasion 
something  extremely  unpleasant.  Me  he  punished  always  through 
my  vanity,  which  was  considerable.  Whenever  I  had  been  "slack," 
it  would  strangely  follow  that  before  long  I  broke  down  in  a 
"  construe,"  and  was  held  up  to  scorn.  To  the  duller  boys,  who 
were  my  terror,  the  high  pitch  of  the  criticisms  which  "  floored  " 
me  was  naturally  not  perceptible ;  nor  were  my  sufferings  at  all 
less  salutary  when,  as  in  time  came  about,  I  perceived  the 

I  could  write  much  more,  but  must  come  to  a  close.  In 
choosing  these  reminiscences,  I  have  tried  to  sift,  out  of  the 
long  accumulation,  that  portion  which  really  belongs  to  Wellington 
and  the  days  of  school,  the  only  part  of  his  splendid  career  upon 
which  my  witness  can  be  comparatively  valuable.  I  have  also 
tried  hard — and  now  perhaps  with  time  given  I  am  able — to  tell, 

1865-1869  UNCONSCIOUS   INFLUENCE  227 

up  to  the  capacities  of  the  written  word,  the  exact  truth.  I  have 
eHminated  with  care,  to  the  best  of  my  power,  everything  which 
we  of  the  school  did  not  then  feel  and  know.  His  grave  is  now 
as  the  grave  of  our  father.  We  learned  from  him  the  power  and 
the  weakness  of  language,  the  beauty  and  the  courage  of  life. 

So  he  appeared  to  sensitive  and  gifted  boys,  to  masters 
touched  by  kindred  enthusiasms.  To  these  he  opened  the 
beautiful  treasures  of  his  ardent  mind.  To  these  he  was 
the  vivid,  idealising  master  and  leader,  magnifying  both 
opportunities  and  defects,  seeing  boundless  possibilities  in 
the  simplest  words  and  acts,  both  for  good  and  evil,  and 
with  a  vitality  which  rippled,  to  the  extremest  verge,  the 
society  in  which  he  moved. 

Those  who  looked  on  life  more  coldly  and  impartially, 
thought  that  in  his  view  there  was  a  want  of  balance  and 
proportion ;  those  whose  nature  was  small  and  poor  saw  in 
the  richness  and  luxuriance  of  his  nature,  insincerity  and 
exaggeration ;  those  whose  characters  lacked  force  and 
purpose  were  frightened  rather  than  inspired  by  the  vivid- 
ness and  alacrity  he  required. 

It  was  always  somewhat  difficult,  even  to  those  who 
admired  and  loved  him  best,  to  move  without  affectation 
in  the  high  atmosphere  both  of  thought  and  emotion  in 
which  my  father  naturally  moved.  I  can  recollect  being 
paralysed  as  a  child  by  having  my  meagre  conversational 
stock  criticised,  and  by  being  required  to  produce  from  my 
lessons  or  my  reading  something  of  more  permanent  in- 
terest. I  still  think  this  is  a  mistaken  view  of  the  parental 
relation,  but  for  the  mental  stimulus  it  gave  me  I  am 
grateful  yet.  Later,  when  travelling  e7i  faniilk  with  my 
father,  worn  with  heat  and  dust  and  railway-trains  and  the 
dura  navis,  his  own  fatigue  would  take  the  form  of  indignant 
exclamations  that  we  did  not  gaze  with  more  avidity  on 
what  we  could  see  of  Paris  through  the  door  windows  of  a 
crowded  omnibus. 

15— a 

228  STRAIN   OF   COMPANIONSHIP  aet.  34 

Yet  of  this  high  pressure  of  thought  and  emotion  he 
was  certainly  not  conscious.  He  thought  that  all  were 
made  of  the  same  fire  and  dew  as  himself.  It  was  always 
a  certain  strain  to  be  long  alone  with  him,  to  converse  with 
him,  however  much  interested  in  the  subject  one  might  be. 
What  was  natural  to  him  tended  to  be  affectation  in  another, 
and  his  forceful  temperament  demanded  companionship 
without  allowing  intuitively  for  strain.  Yet  I  have  often 
heard  him  say  that  he  thought  Dr  Arnold  must  have  been 
a  difficult  man  to  live  with  because  of  his  intense  earnest- 
ness and  his  curious  lack  of  humour. 

I  select  a  few  letters  from  his  correspondence  at  this 
time  : — 

To  the  Rev.  J.  F.  Wickenden. 

Dear  Fred, 

Westcott  and  Mrs  Westcott  spent  some  days  with  us 
lately — you  may  imagine  the  delight  and  good  which  he  wrought 
in  me.  He  is  truly  no  common  flesh  and  blood.  His  work,  his 
brightness,  his  love  of  all  things  beautiful,  his  quickness  of  detec- 
tion of  latent  wrong  in  all  things  specious  and  not  beautiful,  his 
self-discipline  and  his  constant  cheerfulness  are  fine  and  rare 
indeed — add  to  this  his  great  learning  ! 

Your  ever  affectionate, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  Professor  Lightfoot. 

Wellington  College,  Wokingham. 
4  Mar.  1864. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

Oh !  my  dear  fellow,  you  have  done  a  cruelty  in 
setting  me  to  preach  these  sermons \  I  haven't  an  idea  in  my 
head  which  is  younger  or  sounder  than  my  teeth — and  if  I  try  to 

^  He  was  Select  Preacher  before  the  University  of  Cambridge  for  the 
first  time  in  1864.  He  preached  on  March  25  (Good  Friday),  March  27 
(Easter  Day),  April  3  and  April  10. 


make  a  new  one  I  generally  discover  that  it  is  either  heresy  or 
popery.  For  I  believe  I  was  not  destined  for  the  Via  Media 

I  hope  I  shall  not  make  a  contemptible  or  a  ridiculous  figure. 
A  poor  one  I  certainly  shall,  and  now  that  you  are  not  going  to 
be  up  to  counsel  me  a  little,  I  shall  go  to  great  grief. 

I  suppose  you  have  been  very  busy.  I  have  longed  for  you 
here  week  by  week.  There  really  seems  to  me  to  be  trouble 
coming  in  the  Church.  I  wholly  and  entirely  go  with  the  Privy 
Council  judgment^  except  in  those  parts  where  they  comment  on 
the  rest  of  the  Book.  That  seems  to  me  unworthy,  however  true. 
I  think  I  shall  be  obliged  to  subscribe  to  the  Natal  Defence  Fund^ 
I  don't  think  my  conscience  will  let  me  rest  without  it.  But  I 
don't  see  your  name. 

Is  anything  more  heard  of  the  Commentary  on  the  Bible  ?  I 
am  waiting  orders. 

Do  you  know  that  the  Bishop  of  Bullocksmithy^  at  his  last 
Ordination  made  his  candidates  sign  an  article  expressive  of  their 
belief  in  the  true  doctrine  of  Inspiration  etc. — I  think  there  is  no 
doubt  about  it. 

We  have  all  been  very  poorly  with  bad  colds.  I  can't  read  in 
Chapel :  and  your  godson  (who  grows  tall  and  likes  reading)  has 
not  been  out  of  doors  for  two  or  three  weeks.  I'll  give  him  the 
kiss  you  desire  for  him.     Mrs  Benson's  and  my  own  best  love. 

Ever  your  affectionate, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

^  The  sentences  of  the  Court  of  Arches  on  Dr  Rowland  Williams  and  the 
Rev.  H.  B.  Wilson  for  their  contributions  to  Essays  and  Reviews  were,  on 
8  Feb.  1864,  reversed  by  the  Privy  Council.  By  this  judgment  it  was  said 
that  Lord  Chancellor  Westbury  had  "abolished  eternal  punishment." 

"^  Bishop  Colenso's  Appeal  against  the  sentence  of  deprivation  passed  on 
him  by  Bishop  Gray  of  Capetown  was  argued  before  the  Privy  Council  in 
Dec.  1864.  That  body  in  March,  1865,  decided  that  the  sentence  was  void  on 
the  ground  that  the  Letters  Patent  purporting  to  create  the  Sees  of  Natal  and 
Capetown  had  been  issued  after  those  Colonies  had  been  granted  independent 
legislatures,  and  consequently  after  the  Crown  had  lost  its  power  to  constitute 
Bishoprics  or  confer  coercive  jurisdiction  therein.  A  Fund  was  raised  to  meet 
the  Bishop's  legal  expenses,  and  was  contributed  to  by  many  Churchmen  who, 
without  agreeing  with  the  Bishop's  views,  thought  he  had  been  unjustly  treated. 

2  The  reference  is  to  The  Book  of  Snobs,  "on  Clerical  Snobs,"  by 
W.  M.  Thackeray. 

230  LETTERS   TO    DR   WESTCOTT  aet.  35 

To  H.  Lee  Warner,  Esq. 

Aug.  30,  1864. 
My  dear  Lee  Warner, 

Give  my  love  to  Arthur  Sidgwick — and  to  all  the 
ugly  battlements  and  everything  under  them  reposing ;  I  love 
Wellington  College,  I  find,  with  the  love  with  which  one  loves 
oneself, — a  dull  identical  love.  But  I  never  see  an  elm-tree, 
literally,  without  thinking  of  Rugby.  You  will  find  your  love 
grow  immensely — for  dear  as  the  place  of  one's  boyish  work  and 
friendships,  and  above  all,  enmities,  is,  no  place  comes  up  in  one's 
thoughts  to  that  in  which  we  do  our  first  work  as  men'. 

Your  ever  affectionate, 

E.  W.  B. 

To  the  Rev.  B.  F.  Westcott. 

Wellington  College,  Wokingham. 
28  Oct.  1864. 
Dear  Westcott, 

How  has  all  gone  with  you  and  your  house  since  we 
watched  you  dwindle  into  a  speck  across  the  bay  ?  That  happiest 
of  vacations  seems  like  a  dream  across  the  fussy  days  in  which  I 
live  here — or  rather,  sometimes,  quite  the  solid  event  of  the  year. 

How  have  your  Essays^  progressed  really?  And  will  you  really 
let  me  see  some  of  the  frightful  heresies  which  used  to  beckon 
you  so  attractively  on  all  sides  ?  I  feel  as  if  I,  at  whose  blindness 
and  fatuous  fires  Lightfoot  is  always  scoffing,  were  in  fact  a  pillar 
of  orthodoxy — or,  I  will  say,  a  stump. 

I  have  heard  from  Wickenden  to-day.  He  has  not  been  quite 
well,  but  is  one  of  those  happy  people  that  are  not  fussed  except 
by  themselves. 

I  have  heard  nothing  from  the  only  other  unfussed  friend  I 
have,  Lightfoot  j  he  is  too  tranquil  to  write. 

^  H.  Lee  Warner  and  Arthur  Sidgwick  began  work  as  Rugby  Masters 
together  on  Aug.  25,   1864. 

^  "On  the  Myths  of  Plato  and  Aeschylus,"  published  in  the  Contemporary 
Review,  1866  and  1867,  vol.  2,  pp.  199,  469  and  vol.  3,  p.  351,  and  reprinted 
in  the  "Essays  on  the  History  of  religious  thought  in  the  West"  (Macmillan 
and  Co.). 


It  was  most  amusing  to  see  him  rush  headlong  into  the 
Cloisters  at  Winchester  one  day  soon  after  we  parted  from  you. 
My  wife  and  I  were  sitting  there  at  the  time,  not  having  the  least 
idea  of  his  propinquity  nor  he  of  ours.  The  vain  attempts  he 
made  to  see  through  his  eyeglass  until  within  about  a  yard  of  us, 
and  his  difficulty  in  believing  his  eyes  when  he  did  see,  rendered 
him  funny.  He  was  halting  between  two  trains  on  his  way  to 
Normandy  whither  I  believe  he  did  not  go. 

Ever  affectionately  yours, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  the  Rev.  B.  F.  Westcott. 

Well.  Coll. 

4  Jati.  1865. 
My  dear  Westcott, 

I  am  full  of  musings  about  the  TroXXai  avXai  The 
Encyclical  doesn't  make  me  in  love  with  the  One  Fold,  however 
far  it  may  go  to  show  that  honesty  and  fearlessness  are  not  missing 
from  the  Roman  Roll  of  virtues.  Still  I  am  sure  that  there  is  a 
grandeur  in  your  view  which  I  was  at  first  disposed  to  deny  it. 
And  it  comes  nearer  to  the  true  idea  of  the  Civitas  Dei  perhaps — 
what  you  abjure  is  the  Urbs  Dei. 

Upon  the  other  subject  I  can't  see,  I  own,  why  you  should 
consider  the  Ascension  (or  rather  the  Session)  as  the  complement 
of  the  Resurrection  of  Jesus  Christ,  and  merely  its  natural  con- 
sequence— which  I  think  I  understood  you  to  hold  ;  why  not 
rather  the  Resurrection  the  first  necessary  step  towards  the 
Session — the  Introit  to  the  Liturgy.  The  Resurrection  appears 
to  have  the  most  precious  accidental  influence  on  this  present  Life 
and  Hope.  But  the  place  at  the  right  hand  of  the  Father  to  be 
the  very  Spring  of  Life  Eternal. 

Ever  affectionately  yours, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

1  The  Encyclical  of  Pius  IX.  to  the  Bishops  of  the  Roman  Communion, 
condemning  Liberalism.  Appended  to  it  was  a  Syllabus  enumerating  the 
various  forms  of  Liberalism  condemned.     It  was  published  Dec.  ^r,   1864. 

232  LETTERS   TO   LIGHTFOOT  aet.  35 

To  Professor  Lightfoot. 

Wellington  College,  Wokingham. 
9  Jan.  1865. 

My  dear  Doctorial-Professorial-(Kingly-and-Episcopal-Chap- 
lainish)-State-Councillor,  shall  I  ever  see  you  or  hear  of  you  again 
except  in  the  Newspapers — or  gilt  on  the  Divinity  Calf  back  of 
some  unread  (I  never  read)  "Thoughtful  contribution  to  our 
Theological  Hterature — a  work  which  will  go  far  to  redeem  in 
the  eyes  of  '  Fatherland '  itself  our  country  from  the  too  long 
deserved  reproach  etc.,  etc.,"  see  Guardian^  Oct.   1865. 

How  is  it  that  I  never  can  help  writing  nonsense  to  you, 
however  vexed  I  am  ? 

Seriously,  shall  I  ever  see  or  hear  of  you?  Why  don't  you 
come  and  see  me  ?  You  promised  that  you  would  at  Winchester. 
Where  are  you  ?  What  are  you  doing  ?  Sitting  on  some  divine 
a-eXfia,  or  are  you  at  some  Baiae  ?  ^Vhat  a  jest  that  was  when 
we  congratulated  each  other  (or  you  me)  on  your  being  made 
Chaplain  to  the  Prince  Consort  as  an  augury  of  some  work  in 
common  ! 

Do  come  and  see  me — I  am  a  solitary  Turtle  (Dove — not 
Reptile) — just  now,  my  wife  being  at  Rugby.  I  have  been 
detained  by  two  sick  boys,  and  have  attempted  to  read. 

Your  abominable  myths  about  my  heresy — (Westcott  will  tell 
you  that  I  am  a  pillar  (or  stump)  of  orthodoxy) — have  driven  me 
full  into  the  earlier  Judaism.  I  have  just  finished  the  Clementine 
Homilies,  with  which  I  quarrel  chiefly  because  they  are  deficient 
in  liveliness  towards  the  end.  I  was  prepared  for  worse  heresy 
and  folly. 

But  really  what  a  picture  of  primitive  Ufiity.  People  simply 
dream  when  they  talk  of  it — why  we  are  nearer  to  it  now,  and  that 
is  as  far  as  Heaven  from  earth. 

What  bad  times  these  are — our  own  Churchmen  are  going  no 
one  can  see  where  !  Disraeli's  and  S.  Oxon's  alliance',  and  these 
Congresses,  seem  to  me  to  augur  worse  than  anything  since  the 

1  Mr  Disraeli's  speech  on  the  25th  Nov.  1864  at  the  meeting  of  the  Oxford 
Diocesan  Society  for  augmenting  the  endowment  of  small  Benefices  is  re- 
membered for  one  phrase  used.  "What,"  he  asked,  "is  the  question  which  is 
now  placed  before  Society,  with  the  glib  assurance  which  to  me  is  most 
astounding  ?  That  question  is  this — is  a  man  an  ape  or  an  angel  ?  My  Lord, 
I  am  on  the  side  of  the  angels." 


Reformation.  Westcott  has  been  good  enough  to  come  and  stay 
with  us  a  few  days ;  if  it  were  not  for  such  men  as  he  is  and 
Temple,  and  one  or  two  who  can  both  think  and  believe,  I  should 
fear  that  thought  and  faith  were  at  last  parting,  because  they  had 
found  their  married  life  so  unhappy.  Save  two  or  three,  the  only 
truth-loving  men  I  know  now  are  humble-minded  enough,  I  am 
forced  to  confess,  but  scarcely  to  be  called  believers. 

And  the  believers  seem  to  me  to  be  more  and  more  Roman  in 
spirit.  I  don't  mean  in  articles  of  faith — but  undistinguishingly 
blended  with  Rome  in  the  reasons  for  believing. 

How  long  will  the  Reformers'  compromise  endure  ? 

For  three  elements  of  disruption — 

1.  The  expression  in  scriptural  tvords  of  things  not  directly 
stated  in  Scripture,  and  previously  stated  with  more  boldness  and 
clearness  in  common  words — such  as  the  Sacrifice  in  the  Eucharist 
— -the  Real  Presence — the  Power  of  the  Keys — and  other  things 
— seems  to  me  a  difficulty  of  an  awful  kind — it  must  some  day  be 
owned  that  the  words  are  not  to  be  relied  on. 

2.  The  figments  of  an  authority  in  Scripture  not  needing  an 
interpretation,  and  absolute. 

3.  The  territorial  and  political  position  of  the  clergy  inter- 
twined with  all  constitutional  order,  not  a  standing-army  like  the 
Romish  clergy.  These  three  things  seem  to  me  in  our  day  leading 
fast  up  to  some  great  complication.     Don't  you  think  it  is  so  ? 

Westcott  has  been  to  see  Lee' — and  has  come  away  most 
happy — had  most  interesting  lights  upon  his  character  and  works. 

How  I  repent  me  of  my  part  in  a  conversation  about  Westcott 
as  we  walked  up  the  street  in  Marseilles.  He  surely  has  work 
before  him. 

So  have  you — I  wish  you  would  do  it — and  not  stand  so  long 
in  the  market-place. 

So  has  Temple — I  wish  he  were  not  so  greedy  of  daily  work. 

So  has  not  Stanley  now — nor  Jowett— the  former  has  but  to 
preach  his  old  message,  a  right  holy  one,  and  will  constantly — 
but  there  is  nothing  more  in  his  line  of  thought  to  come  out. 

For  me,  I  wish  I  had  been  a  soldier.     So  hard  is  it  to  have 
just  looked  on  this  land  of  Colchians,  and  then  to  be  caught  and 
held  by  these  dark  blue  Symplegades  of  Ignorance  and  Inability, 
Your  affectionate  and  not  very  happy, 

E.  W.  B. 

^  Bishop  of  Manchester. 

234  LETTERS— TERTULLIAN  aet.  35-36 

To  the  Rev.  B.  F.  Westcott. 

Well.  Coll. 
Jtine  28,  1865. 
My  dear  Westcott, 

Thanks  for  your  kind  in\-itation  to  your  speeches. 
Would  that  I  could  come  to  yours  and  you  to  ours.  For  those 
tumults  are  after  all  useful  to  one  perhaps  ;  though  they  spoil  the 
blue  water  with  strings  of  weed  and  clouds  of  sand  which  may  last, 
they  leave  the  bay  (seemingly)  bluer  and  (certainly)  cooler  and 
fresher  for  next  morning's  bathe. 

I  have  been  reading  Tertullian.  I'm  afraid  you'll  utter  some 
pungent  remark.  But  I  do  like  him,  and  his  worship  of  the 
Paraclete  and  belief  in  His  ready  help  is  glorious  to  me.  I  have 
not  read  enough  I  suppose.  But  so  far  I  can't  find  anything  really 
heterodox.  It  is  no  more  wicked  (is  it?)  to  think  the  Paraclete 
spoke  in  Montanus  than  to  believe,  as  I  suppose  many  of  the 
wisest  believed,  that  Hermas  and  Barnabas  were  inspired. 
Identification  with  M.  I  can  see  none. 

Ever  affectionately  yours, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  his   Wife. 

Hotel  du  Louvre,  Paris. 
My  dearest, 

I  am  here  through  an  inconvenient  accident.  My 
portmanteau  did  not  turn  up  at  Paris,  and  the  Superintendent 
begged  me  to  remain  a  day  and  see  if  it  came  by  to-night's  train. 
It  has  not  done  so. 

The  most  comical  thing  was  that  while  I  was  looking  for  it, 
I  put  my  hand  into  my  pocket  for  my  handkerchief  and  finding 
something  unusual  there,  drew  it  out.  There  Avere  three  empty 
purses  in  it  deposited  no  doubt  by  some  pickpocket.  I  had  to  go 
like  Brown,  Jones  and  Robinson,  before  three  intelligent  Police 
Magistrates  or  the  like,  and  make  depositions. 

Another  unhappy  wretch  came  in  who  had  had  his  pocket 
picked  of  ;£.i^o  and  someone  else's  purse  put  into  his  pocket — 
a  favourite  coup  'twould  seem. 

i865  LETTERS   FROM   FRANCE  235 

Westcott  has  not  I  fear  at  present  any  Popish  sympathies 
whatever  and  doesn't  like  mass  and  declares  he  cannot  follow 
the  Creed.     No  hope  for  him — at  present. 

Your  loving  husband  and  father  and  brother, 

E.    W.    B. 

To  his   Wife. 

Convent  de  N.  Dame  de  la  Salette. 
20  August,  1865. 
My  dearest, 

For  such  I  am  allowed  still  to  call  you.  The  date  of 
my  letter  will  inform  you  of  the  step  which  I  have  taken.  You 
will  find  I  believe  all  my  affairs  in  good  order — so  that  you  \vill 
have  little  or  no  trouble  with  regard  to  them.  In  this  mountain 
sanctuary  there  is  peace — and  I  know  your  love  and  goodness 
will  not  seek  to  drag  me  hence  by  any  vain  and  violent  measures. 
My  two  companions  are  equally  happy  and  equally  free  in  this 
retirement  from  the  world.  Here  there  are  Fathers  simple,  pure 
and  pious — a  devout  and  humble  race  of  believers — in  fact  they 
will  believe  anything  ! 

Well,  dearest,  I  hope  you  are  sufficiently  alarmed  ? 

Your  ever  most  loving  husband, 

E.    W.    B. 

E.    W.  Benson  to  B.  F.    Westcott,  on  the  plaid  wJiich  the 
latter  wore  on  their  tour  abroad. 

The  Traveller  to  his  Treasure. 

Whilst  gamins  praised  in  undertones 
My  russet  reed',  what  saved  my  bones 
On  jaggy  odoriferous  stones? 

Thy  folds,  my  plaid. 

Whate'er  I  wrought,  whate'er  I  ail'd. 
Even  when  my  "Petit  Verre"  had  fail'd. 
What  calorific  still  avail'd  ? 

Thy  pad,  my  plaid. 

^  A  brown  reed  pen,  with  which  Mr  Westcott  used  to  sketch. 

236  AMOEBEAN    ECLOGUES  aet.  36 

What  cool'd  the  veins  by  Phoebus  fired, 

When  on  the  Col  the  boor  admired 

Both  how  I  clomb,  and  how  "  transpired "  ? 

Thy  coils,  my  plaid. 
When  Como's  sun  flared  overhead 
My  parapluie  I  quadrupled, 
For  round  the  gingham  thee  I  spread. 

Expansive  plaid ! 
Yet  once  those  Hot-wells  did  thee  wrong : — 
Like  thee  they  calmed  me — made  me  strong — 
I  left  thee  o'er  the  railing  flung. 

Thankless,  my  plaid. 
Forgive  me ! — still  entwine  my  waist, 
My  shoulder  climb,  descend  my  chest. 
Still  'neath  my  elbow  be  embraced 

Thy  fringe,  my  plaid  ! 
My  Heater  still  and  Freezer  be ! 
My  Cushion  and  my  Canopy — 
All  comfort  in  Epitome, 

My  magic  plaid  ! 
Mine's  no  entomologic  mind, 
(Like  his  who  sought,  yet  feared  to  find,) 
Yet — scouring  thee  perhaps  were  kind, — 

O  world-tost  plaid  ! 

Then — should  I  share  Duke  Humphrey's  cup, — 
(As  famished  boas  on  blankets  sup,) 
I  half  think  I  could  eat  thee  up. 
My  tender  plaid  ! 

E.  W.  B. 
Sep.  9,   1865. 

B.  F.    Westcott  to  E.   W.  Benson^  on  the  wide-awake  which 
the  latter  zuore  on  their  tour  abroad. 

Ah  me !    had  I  the  poet's  pen 

Which  traced  the  triumphs  of  the  plaid ! 
A  nobler  theme  demands  my  song, 

A  crown  and  not  a  robe  :    but  sad 
The  truth — my  rhymes  will  dull  its  sheen, 
For  Heme  Bay  is  not  Hippocrene. 

i865  PLAID   AND    WIDEAWAKE  237 

A  wide-awake,  a  casque,  a  hat, 

How  shall  I  name  the  changeful  thing? 

Now  in  this  shape,  and  now  in  that 
It  bodies  some  imagining 

Of  grace  or  dignity  to  view. 

Chameleon-like  in  varied  hue. 

The  weight  of  years  is  on  its  brim, 

The  light  of  suns  is  on  its  crest ; 
Its  black  has  mellowed  down  to  brown ; 

The  outline  wavers :   for  the  rest 
Each  hue  has  some  instinctive  power 
To  suit  the  fashion  of  the  hour. 

Not  Rubens  had  a  grander  sweep 

Of  beaver  swelling  broadly  down  : 
Nor  Gessler's  a  more  sovereign  look 

To  bear  the  honours  of  a  crown  : 
And  cunning  fingers  could  not  vie 
With  nature's  subtle  broidery. 

E'en  as  I  write  I  see  it  still 

Circling  the  thoughtful  artist's  brow 
With  softest  forms  of  wavy  shade 

Worthy  of  Tintoret ;  and  now 
It  stiffens  out  and  seems  to  say 
"  I  lead  :    you  follow  and  obey." 

B.  F.  W. 
Herne  Bay, 

not  Bellagio, 
Sept.  1865. 

To  tJu  Rev.  B.  F.    Westcott,  on  an  tmpublished  paper 
by  the  latter  on  La  S alette^. 

Wellington  College. 
Oct.  ytth,  1865. 

My   dear    ^VESTCOTT, 

I  really  don't  think  any  one  can  call  Mariolatrous 
what  you  say.  The  "  omitted  doctrine "  alone  can  be  twisted. 
But  why  not  make  this   clearer,  and  say  what  I   suppose  those 

^  La  Salette,  in  the  district  of  Grenoble,  became  a  place  of  pilgrimage  in 

238  LETTERS— MARIOLATRY  aet.  36 

who  comprehend  it  will  take  you  to  mean,  the  need  of  seeing 
further  and  grasping  more  personally  the  Person  of  Jesus  ?  or,  if 
you  mean  more,  why  not  still  point  out  the  path  in  which  it  is  to 
be  found  ?  People,  I  think,  can  quote  only  what  you  donH  say  if 
they  wish  to  Romanize  you. 

Wouldn't  it  be  also  interesting  as  an  illustration  of  what  you 
say  as  to  a  "  New  Religion,"  and  explanatory  of  your  views  too, 
to  mention  the  horrible  inscription  we  saw,  "Ab  ira  Dei  Libera 

Anyhow  I  hope  the  paper  won't  disappear. 

You  of  course  don't  want  to  be  thought  of  as  leaning  towards 
the  worship  of  Mary,  because  you  are  not  doing  so.  Of  course 
wiser  heads  than  mine  may  state  whether  that  is  the  aspect  of 
what  you  have  written — but  if  so  can't  you  colour  it  more  after 
your  idea? 

How  I  envy  you  the  power  of  gathering,  inventing,  and 
developing  ideas  in  the  midst  of  school  work.  More  and  more 
ideas  cease  with  me,  and  the  best  refreshment  is  the  mere  revival 
of  boyhood  in  the  classics.  And  as  regards  progress,  I  am 
"toiling  through  immeasurable  sands." 

Affectionately  yours  ever, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  Professor  LigJitfoot. 

Wellington  College. 
Epiphany^  1866. 
(In  new  house  at  Wellington.) 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

Have  you  seen  Maurice's  book  on  Conflict  of  Good 
and  Evil?  He  is  more  nebulous  than  ever.  It  is  an  exact 
paraphrase  of  Jowett's  formulation  of  him — "  All  are  right : — I 
most  right.     All  are  wrong : — I  most  wrong." 

Ever  your  affectionate  friend, 

E.  W.  B. 

^  On   a  statue  of  the  Virgin  that  B.  F.  W.  and   E.  W.  B.  had  seen  in 

1 866        LETTER— DEATH  OF  A  FRIEND'S  CHILD        239 

To  the  Rev.  C.  B.  Hutchinsou,  on  tJie  death  of  his  child. 

Wellington  College, 
May  isth,  1866. 
My  dear  Hutchinson, 

It  was  a  great  sorrow  to  us  to  hear  of  your  sorrow. 
To  have  a  child  in  Heaven  is  a  thought  which  I  doubt  not,  when 
well  and  truly  grasped,  is  an  unearthly  blessing,  but  not  to  have 
the  same  child  on  earth  cannot  but  be  at  first  a  sad,  sore  wound. 
Nevertheless  the  verity  of  the  blessing  is  in  nothing  more  certain 
than  in  that  it  has  the  character  of  all  His  Holinesses  in  not  being 
at  all  comprehended  at  first.  It  must,  I  fear,  be  weeks  before 
even  you,  who  are  not  given  to  look  on  this  earth  as  your  own, 
can  at  all  bring  home  to  yourselves  in  any  work-a-day  form,  the 
truth  that  a  part  of  you  is  already  above. 

But  surely  it  is  so — half  your  heart.  I  had  a  fancy  the  other 
day  that  there  was  some  deeper  cause  for  a  childish  ailment  in 
Martin  than  there  was  really,  and  for  a  whole  day  I  seemed  to  be 
walking  in  a  dream — and  could  not  conceive  what  life  would  be 
like  without  him.  My  dear  friend,  I  can  feel  how  acute  the  pain 
must  be.  But  I  have  prayed,  and  will  pray  earnestly  that  he  may 
take  his  due  and  holy  place  in  your  circle  and  not  out  of  it,  and 
that  you  may  still  count  yourself  the  father  of  the  three,  though 
one  is  in  higher  place  than  yourself 

Puerum  poposcit  carnifex,  mater  dedit, 
Nee  inmorata  est  fletibus,  tantum  osculum 
Impressit  unum:    "Vale,"  ait,  "dulcissime; 
Et  cum  beata  regna  Christi  intraveris, 
Memento  matris,  jam  patrone  ex  filio^" 
The  headsman  came,  she  gave  her  little  one 
Nor  lingered  wildly  weeping,  but  full  free 
Spake,  kissing  him,  "A  sweet  farewell  to  thee, 
Sweet  babe,  and  when  before  the  Heavenly  Throne 
Thou  standest  in  white  robe,  remember  me, — 
My  guardian  saint  and  still — and  still  my  son." 

We  both  unite  in  best  love  and  most  heartfelt  sympathy  for 
you  both. 

Believe  me  ever, 

Your  most  sincere  and  affectionate  friend, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

^  Pnulentius,  Peristephauon  X.  Passio  Romani  Martyris  1.  823. 


"  Slight  not  the  smallest  loss,  whether  it  be 
hi  love  or  hoftojir :   take  account  of  all : 
Shine  like  the  sun  in  every  corner." 

Geo.  Herbert. 

In  1865  the  numbers  of  the  College  having  largely- 
increased,  and  all  available  space  being  required,  a  new 
Master's  Lodge  was  built ;  the  planning  of  this  was  a 
great  pleasure  to  my  father ;  he  spared  a  sandy  bank  as  a 
playground  for  his  children  ;  he  contrived  the  house  so 
that  the  rooms  all  opened  on  a  large  central  hall,  with  a 
gallery  round  it  leading  to  the  bedrooms.  The  fittings 
were  of  pitch  pine,  then  held  to  be  a  beautiful  wood,  the 
entrances  and  hall  were  distempered  with  a  light  lilac 
wash,  supposed  to  be  bright  and  cheerful,  but  inexpressibly 
dreary  and  inharmonious.  The  study  was  fitted  with  a 
door  opening  into  the  porch,  so  that  masters  and  boys  had 
free  access  to  my  father's  study  without  passing  through 
the  house.  He  laid  out  and  planted  the  grounds  with 
great  care ;  but  it  was  all  very  wild :  the  garden  melted 
into  the  heath,  and  the  rabbits  used  to  gambol  on  the 
lawn  in  the  twilight ;  on  the  hot  summer  evenings  my 
father  and  mother  used  to  dine  in  the  garden  under  the 
shade  of  a  grove  of  birches  ;    the  borders  were  planted 

1865-1873  FAMILY   LIFE  241 

with  old-fashioned  flowers  such  as  Hollyhocks  and  Sweet 
Williams.     My  mother  writes  : — 

I  shall  try  and  put  down  without  much  attempt  at  arrange- 
ment some  little  points  of  the  life  at  Wellington  College,  which 
would  not  be  known  to  the  world  at  large.  One  great  feature, 
especially  during  the  earlier  years,  was  the  daily  walks.  Every 
day  regularly  after  lunch  we  used  to  start  off  and  ramble  over  the 
country  for  at  least  two  hours.  He  had  a  habit  of  starting  off  at 
the  most  tremendous  pace  till  he  had  worked  off  the  fret  of  the 
morning's  work,  and  then  gradually  subsided  into  an  ordinary 
pace.  In  the  summer  he  often  took  a  book,  and  we  used  to  sit 
down  at  rewarding  places,  and  he  would  read  to  me.  We  read  all 
the  Idylls  of  the  King  this  way  the  year  they  came  out.  He  talked 
freely  of  everything,  but  used  to  fall  sometimes  into  silence,  during 
which  one  could  feel  how  life  and  thought  were  throbbing  within 
him.  I  never  knew  anyone  whose  silence  was  more  pregnant. 
Whether  it  was  the  silence  of  thought,  or  musing,  or  displeasure — ■ 
or  even  boredom — there  was  a  burning  vitality  about  it  all  which 
gave  those  nearest  him  a  sense  of  living  hard  also.  It  was  some- 
times the  most  curious  sensation.  I  have  known  what  it  was  to 
feel  physically  breathless  from  the  speed  at  which  his  mind  was 
working,  without  a  word  bting  spoken.  One  of  his  favourite 
employments  out  walking  was  to  translate  hymns,  discussing  it 
all  freely,  rejecting  expression  after  expression  till  he  had  found 
the  very  finest  shade  of  meaning  he  wanted.  He  took  great 
delight  in  this,  but  never  allowed  the  smallest  slovenliness  in  word 
or  metre.  He  wrote  hymns  also  in  this  way.  His  Rogation 

"  O  Throned,  O  Crowned  with  all  renown " 

occupied  many  a  walk  in  the  fir  wood  at  Wellington. 

He  was  very  fond  of  all  the  details  of  arrangement  inside  the 
house.  The  house  we  lived  in  for  the  last  seven  years  at  Wellington 
College  was  planned  by  him  with  the  greatest  care.  He  spent  a 
good  year  in  planning  and  altering  and  revising.  Once  in  the 
house,  with  his  study  in  order  for  work,  he  devoted  himself 
to  the  nursery.  For  years  he  had  saved  all  kinds  of  ordinary 
prints  and  pictures  for  this  purpose,  and  he  would  give  a  spare 
few  minutes  or  sometimes  a  wet  afternoon  to  pasting  these  pictures 
on  the  walls.     He  would  begin  with  various  centres,  and  radiate 

B.   I.  16 

242  THE   CHILDREN  aet.  36-44 

from  them  till  finally  the  whole  nursery  was  covered,  and  then  he 
had  the  walls  varnished.  The  pleasure  he  gave  to  the  children  in 
this  way  was  indescribable.  The  other  day  one  of  our  sons  went 
back  to  Wellington  College  after  years  of  absence — the  present 
headmaster  was  most  kind  and  let  him  go  up  into  the  old  nursery, 
but  he  was  distressed  to  find  he  could  scarcely  remember  a  single 
picture.  Something  caught  his  eye  and  caused  him  to  stoop — and 
then  he  suddenly  found  himself  quite  at  home — he  was  at  the 
level  he  remembered,  and  everything  was  familiar.  My  husband 
associated  the  children  with  himself  very  much  in  the  decoration 
of  the  nursery — they  sat  in  a  row  in  their  little  chairs,  cutting  the 
edges  of  the  pictures  straight  for  pasting.  My  daughter  said  to 
me  only  the  other  day,  "  Papa  was  very  patient  with  my  jagged 
edges — he  never  scolded  us  about  them,  but  I  felt  it  to  be  an 
awful  responsibility." 

Later  on  in  our  Wellington  College  life  he  used  to  walk  a 
great  deal  with  the  children,  and  besides  being  always  very  fond 
of  making  them  observe,  he  used  to  play  with  them  most  de- 
lightfully. There  were  some  grand  beeches  near  Wellington 
College,  within  the  compass  of  little  feet,  and  there  was  a  special 
one  which  he  used  to  call  the  King's  Beech.  The  children  being 
very  young  used  so  often  to  mistake  this  that  their  father  named  it 
"  Oak-oh-I-mean-beech-papa."  Here  many  games  went  on — he 
used  to  hide  in  the  fern  which  grew  all  round  them,  and  fill  them 
with  a  delicious  sense  of  mystery  and  thrill,  not  knowing  where  or 
in  what  guise  he  was  going  to  break  out  upon  them. 

From  their  earliest  years  also  he  used  to  encourage  them  to 
make  rhymes  out  walking.  He  would  suggest  a  subject,  ask  their 
advice,  begin  a  line,  ask  for  a  word  or  an  expression,  take  their 
suggestions,  discuss  them  fully,  modifying  them,  and  give  them 
the  intense  interest  of  feeling  they  were  co-creators,  and  my 
daughter  tells  me  that  on  one  occasion  he  went  a  walk  with  her 
and  her  sister,  aged  seven  and  eight :  they  passed  a  flock  of 
sheep  with  bells,  and  he  began  to  make  a  little  poem  on  it, 
asking  their  advice  and  mostly  taking  it.  The  first  stanza  ran 
as  follows : 

Tinkle,  tinkle,  shepherd's  bell. 
For  I  love  your  sound  full  well. 
From  the  sheep  that  sound  proceeds, 
Browsing  o'er  the  verdant  meads. 

1865-1873  SKETCHING  243 

("Verdant  meads"  was  the  suggestion  of  the  eldest  girl,  seriously 
discussed  and  finally  accepted.) 

It  went  on 

For  it  tells  of  peaceful  days, 
Well-kept  homes  and  honest  ways. 

As  the  flock  together  keep, 
With  the  leader  of  the  sheep, 
So  may  we  our  Leader  love. 
Safe  and  faithful  forward  move, 
Choose  no  thorny  dangerous  way, 
But  by  our  gentle  Shepherd  stay. 

If  we  miss  his  warning  look, 
He  will  use  his  guiding  crook. 
Welcome  check  and  welcome  pain 
That  brings  us  to  his  side  again, 
'Neath  the  shadow  of  the  rock 
Where  the  Shepherd  rests  the  flock. 

My  father  certainly  delighted  in  nothing  more  than 
the  society  of  his  children.  We  used  to  go  and  talk  to 
hin:i  while  he  shaved  before  breakfast ;  in  the  afternoons 
he  used  to  walk  with  us  from  a  time  when  we  had  almost 
to  run  to  keep  up  with  him.  In  the  evenings  we  often 
went  to  him  to  look  at  pictures,  such  as  Flaxman's  illus- 
trations of  Homer,  or  those  in  the  old  Penny  Magazine ; 
and  at  dinner  we  always  sat  at  the  table  with  him  and 
my  mother,  reading  or  drawing,  and  partaking  of  dessert. 

In  the  holidays  his  great  amusement  was  sketching.  I 
have  hundreds  of  his  sketches,  mostly  of  architectural 
subjects,  drawn  on  a  small  octavo  block  of  tinted  paper 
generally  in  Prout's  Brown,  with  a  reed  pen  or  a  crowquill, 
in  the  style  of  Petit*.  He  was  never  at  his  ease  with 
foliage  or  foregrounds  and  used  to  omit  trees  with  artistic 
licence.  He  was  also  very  fond  when  we  were  children  of 
drawing  either  from  a  book  or  more  generally  out  of  his 
own  head  careful  pictures  of  Gothic  castles  and  cathedrals, 

^  John  Louis  Petit,  author  of  many  architectural  works,  of  whose  drawings 
my  father  was  very  fond. 

16 2 

244  SENSITIVENESS  aet.  36-44 

strangely  massed  together,  with  quaint  little  inscriptions  in 
Latin  or  archaic  English  rhymes,  which  were  greatly 
treasured.  Quite  late  in  life,  after  he  was  Archbishop,  he 
made  some  attempt  in  his  Swiss  holidays  to  practise 
drawing  in  water  colours  under  the  tuition  of  my  sister, 
and  produced  two  or  three  careful  rather  overhandled 
sketches  of  mountains,  which  he  used  sometimes  to  take 
out  of  his  sketch-book  and  look  at  with  a  regretful  pride, 
saying,  "  This  is  not  so  bad  as  might  appear  :  but  I  began 
too  late :  I  am  an  o-ylri/jcaO >]<;."  He  never  travelled  without 
a  pocket-book  in  which  he  jotted  down  in  pencil  inscrip- 
tions, odd  architectural  features — anything  which  took  his 

My  mother  continues  : — 

He  always  felt  most  keenly  anything  that  went  wrong  in 
the  school,  or  any  serious  fault  of  a  boy :  I  remember  well  one 
special  time ;  there  had  been  great  trouble  about  a  boy ;  it  was 
clear  the  offence  could  not  be  passed  over,  and  that  the  boy  must 
not  remain  in  the  school.  There  were  several  terrible  interviews 
with  the  boy  and  his  parents.  The  parents  were  broken-hearted, 
but  bowed  to  the  decision.  He  told  me  how  terrible  it  was  to 
see  the  meeting  between  the  boy  and  his  father ;  I  don't  re- 
member any  words  now,  but  there  was  no  severity,  only  deep 
grief  At  last  they  took  the  boy  away— he  was  not  expelled  but 
taken  quietly  away.  That  afternoon  my  husband  and  I  started  for 
a  long  walk,  as  usual,  and  went  to  Caesar's  Camp,  about  three 
miles  off,  talking  of  all  this.  There  were  magnificent  Roman 
fortifications  there,  covered  with  fern.  We  sat  down  here  as  we 
always  did,  and  in  a  few  minutes  he  burst  into  a  passion  of  tears. 
The  whole  misery  and  wretchedness  of  it  overcame  him,  the 
bright  promise  of  the  poor  lad,  with  this  blight  on  it,  the  love 
between  him  and  his  parents,  and  their  broken-hearted  but  still 
loving  grief,  and  his  own  absolute  certainty  that  the  boy  must  go 
for  others'  sakes ;  he  lay  among  the  fern,  shaken  with  uncon- 
trollable sobs ;  I  could  only  sit  by  him  and  wait.  After  a  while 
the  storm  had  expended  itself;  he  was  able  to  walk  back  quietly 
with  me. 

He  had  naturally  a  very  anxious  mind,  presaging  evil  quickly, 

1865-1873  ANXIETY  245 

and  easily  believing  in  the  irreparabkness  of  an  action  or  an 
omission.  Yet  in  physical  danger  he  had  no  fear — never  lost  his 
head,  and  did  the  right  thing  with  great  fortitude  and  calm. 
This  was  specially  true  in  later  years  in  relation  to  horses.  He 
was  a  most  fearless  rider,  even  sometimes  a  careless  one,  being  so 
fond  of  his  horse  that  he  let  it  have  its  own  way  too  much.  There 
was  no  break-neck  place  into  which  he  would  not  go  gaily  if  the 
fancy  took  him,  to  the  confusion  sometimes  of  his  companions. 
He  had  had  several  carriage  accidents  but  was  never  in  the  least 

But  he  was  prone  to  be  fearful  about  the  issue  of  his  under- 
takings, particularly  in  the  smaller  things.  The  great  ones  brought 
their  strength  with  them.  In  the  early  years  at  Wellington  he 
used  often  to  tell  me  when  he  went  up  to  a  Governors'  Meeting, 
that  he  would  probably  come  home  dismissed.  The  immediate 
cause  would  be  some  small  thing,  but  general  inefficiency  would 
he  thought  be  their  ultimate  ground.  I  used  at  first  to  believe 
this  and  be  on  tenter-hooks  all  day.  Later  on  it  became  almost  a 
joke,  but  he  was  quite  serious  about  it  even  then  at  times.  He 
took  things  so  much  to  heart.  He  was  thought  harsh  by  some 
boys,  but  they  could  not  help  knowing  all  the  time  how  he  cared 
for  them,  their  progress,  their  character. 

Many  years  later,  in  a  diary,  when  reviewing  the  course 
of  his  life,  he  said  that  there  were  certain  things  that  could 
he  live  his  life  over  again  he  would  do  differently;  one  of 
these  was  that,  if  he  were  again  a  schoolmaster,  he  would 
speak  to  the  boys  about  spiritual  things  more  directly  and 
more  individually.  But  his  tact  with  boys  and  his  sympathy 
with  idiosyncrasies  struck  outsiders.  One  who  was  often 
with  him  in  early  years,  writes  : — 

One  thing  that  struck  me  was  the  way  in  which  he  looked  at 
the  boys  as  individuals,  never  in  the  lump — but  that  I  suppose  is 
common  to  all  schoolmasters  who  know  and  are  fit  for  their  work. 
It  struck  me  because  it  was  the  first  time  I  had  come  across  it. 

Mr  Carr  writes  : — 

I  will  now  recall  an  interview  that  illustrates  Benson's  power 
of  eliciting   truth — his   sense   of   the   importance  of  confession, 

246  PATIENCE  aet.  36-44 

and  the  infinite  trouble  he  would  take,  the  time  he  would  spend 
and  not  count  lost  in  bringing  about  a  needed  moral  result. 
A  Wellington  boy  of  high  promise  as  a  scholar  and  of  great 
charm  of  character  in  many  ways,  fell  into  grievous  sin  which 
was  covered  by  a  tissue  of  falsehood.  The  sin  was  all  but 
demonstrated.  The  only  need  for  the  boy's  own  sake  was  that 
he  should  confess.  I  was  present  as  the  boy's  tutor,  and  I 
shall  never  forget  the  beautiful  way  in  which  Benson  pleaded 
with  him  for  more  than  an  hour.  At  first  the  hard  look 
and  proud  lips  compressed  to  conceal  the  truth  seemed  to  defy 
confession.  But  still  the  pleading  went  on  with  the  utmost 
gentleness,  till  at  length  the  false  shame  yielded,  the  hard  look 
vanished,  and  free  confession  came  with  tears.  The  whole  look 
of  the  boy  altered.  It  was  a  great  victory  and  left  on  my  mind  a 
strong  impression  of  spiritual  power. 

An  Old  Wellingtonian  gives  me  the  following  instance 
of  his  spiritual  directness  when  dealing  with  boys,  which 
I  may  quote  ;    he  writes  : — 

My  father  had  died  in  the  Mutiny.  One  of  my  brothers 
was  a  high-spirited  and  troublesome  boy  at  Wellington  in  the 
early  sixties.  The  Headmaster  wrote  to  say  that  he  was  very 
unsatisfactory,  and  my  mother  went  down  in  much  fear  to  see 
about  his  removal  from  the  school.  Nothing  could  exceed,  so 
she  often  told  me,  the  kindness  with  which  she  was  received. 
Before  she  left,  the  Headmaster  had  joined  mother  and  son  in 
prayer  for  the  boy's  welfare,  and  the  whole  complexion  of  the 
present  and  the  future  was  changed  for  them  both.  It  is  nearly 
twenty  years  since  my  mother  died.  I  have  wished  to  tell  the 
Archbishop  how  the  memory  of  his  sympathy,  bringing  light  and 
hope  to  the  widow's  heart,  was  honoured  in  our  little  home  in 
Gloucestershire.  I  very  nearly  told  it  at  one  of  the  Lambeth 
Garden  Parties  in  '89,  when  I  introduced  my  future  wife  to  him, 
and  in  that  wonderful  way  he  had  of  bringing  the  eternal  down  to 
earth,  he  solemnly  blessed  us  both  as  we  stood  upon  the  lawn. 

The  Dean  of  Lincoln,  who  succeeded  him  in  the  Head- 
mastership,  thus  wrote  of  him  in  the  National  Review  of 
June  1897  : — 

My  first  acquaintance  with  the  late  Archbishop  was  in  the 
autumn  of  1867,  when  I  spent  a  Sunday  at  Wellington  College  as 

1865-1873     REMINISCENCES— DEAN  WICKHAM  247 

the  guest  of  one  of  his  younger  colleagues.  At  that  time  he  was 
in  the  heyday  of  his  own  school  work.  Early  difficulties  had  been 
to  a  great  extent  overcome,  and  the  school  was  taking  generally 
the  shape  which  he  had  imagined  for  it.  The  heath-clad  wilderness 
had  been  replenished  and  subdued.  He  had  himself  moved  out  of 
his  somewhat  narrow  quarters  in  the  college  building  into  the  new 
and  charming  "  Master's  Lodge."  He  had  attained  to  a  Vlth  Form 
after  his  own  heart.  Its  scholar  of  the  greatest  promise  at  the 
moment  was  one  known  since  to  letters  as  the  brilliant,  if  some- 
times paradoxical,  writer  of  Eiiripides,  the  Rationalist,  and  there 
were  other  members  of  it  destined  to  win  distinction  in  arms,  in 
the  Indian  Civil  Service,  and  in  education.  I  had  known  him 
before  through  correspondence,  and  at  second-hand  in  the  way 
that  an  Oxford  tutor  knows  many  headmasters,  from  pupils  of  his 
own  who  take  work  at  a  school,  or  boys  from  the  school  who  come 
to  the  University ;  but  the  first  personal  contact  was  an  event. 
His  appearance  was  striking.  It  was  a  face  of  command,  with 
great  play  of  feature,  eager,  but  quiet,  and  giving  the  sense  of  a 
fund  both  of  humour  and  of  determination.  In  receiving  a  visitor 
he  was  quite  at  his  best,  gracious,  cordial,  even  affectionate.  Then, 
and  in  all  changes  of  position,  he  had  the  characteristics  which 
make  anyone  interesting  who  is  engaged  in  important  work,  keen 
and  fresh  interest  of  his  own  in  it,  and  an  eye  for  its  picturesque 

and  ideal  aspects 

It  has  been  said  in  one  or  two  of  the  notices  which 
appeared  after  the  Archbishop's  death,  that  his  rule  of  the 
school  was  by  fear.  Discipline  is  the  first  necessity  of  a 
young  society,  but  if  the  words  be  taken  as  describing  his  tem- 
perament or  the  general  character  of  his  government,  they  are 
entirely  misleading.  He  had  a  quick  eye  for  individual  character, 
an  understanding  of  boys'  difficulties,  a  strong  sense  of  the  humour- 
ous side  of  much  of  their  troublesomeness,  a  ready  sympathy  with 
aspiration  and  effort,  however  unsuccessful.  He  certainly  com- 
manded loyalty  and  affection  from  many.  But  he  ruled  on  the 
Public  School  system — as  much  as  possible  through  his  Vlth 
Form.  On  training  and  impressing  them  he  spared  no  pains. 
He  taught  them  almost  entirely  himself,  and  he  did  not,  as  is  too 
often  done,  leave  them  without  guidance  in  their  ruling.  The 
terminal  admission  of  Prefects  was  a  formal  business  with  a  short 
religious  service  (borrowed  from  Rugby),  and  those  who  heard  his 
little  addresses  on  these  occasions,  speak  of  them  with  enthusiasm 

248  REMINISCENCES— DEAN  WICKHAM     aet.  36-44 

as  more  effective  even  than  his  sermons  in  Chapel,  sermons 
themselves  (if  we  may  judge  from  the  volume  published  under 
the  title  of  Boy  Life)  among  the  best  of  school  sermons.  His 
knowledge  of  boys  was  very  great,  and  so  was  his  power  of  putting 
high  principles  of  action  into  pithy  phrases  which  they  would 
understand,  and  feel,  and  remember.  He  ruled  through  his 
"  Prefects "  and  he  ruled  through  his  "  Tutors."  The  relation 
of  a  tutor  in  charge  of  a  "  dormitory  "  (a  gallery  of  living  as  well  as 
sleeping  rooms)  to  his  boys  was,  in  his  arrangement,  as  nearly  as  it 
could  be  made,  that  of  a  house-master  in  another  school  to  his 
boarding-house,  but  in  no  school,  perhaps,  was  the  theory  that  the 
tutor  stood  in  loco  parentis  so  fully  carried  out  as  at  Wellington 

With  his  young  assistant  masters  also  Benson  was  a  discipHn- 

arian But  he  attached  them  generally  to  himself,  and  they 

believed    in   him.      He    had   a   tolerance  for   natural   infirmity. 

" is    rather    conceited,"    someone   complained   to   him. 

"You  do  not  know,"  was  the  answer,  "how  a  little  self-conceit 
helps  you  through  dull  and  irksome  duties."  He  left  behind 
him,  as  his  successor  knows  best,  a  staff  of  able  men,  united 
(not  by  any  means  because  they  were  all  of  one  colour),  and  with 
an  unusually  high  and  human  ideal  of  their  work 

No  one  could  see  Benson  at  Wellington  without  feeling  that  he 
loved  his  position.  He  loved,  as  he  loved  all  through  his  life,  the 
work  of  organizing  even  to  minute  detail.  He  loved  and  idealized 
the  place,  the  country  freedom,  the  lustrous  air,  the  scent  of 
heather  and  firwoods,  the  scraps  of  historic  association,  the 
Roman  camp  and  the  neighbouring  Swinley  and  Windsor  Forest. 
He  passionately  loved  teaching — his  Greek  Testament  lessons,  the 
careful  reading  of  Thucydides,  Latin  verses,  "the  prettiest  and 
sweetest  things  in  the  world,"  as,  once  in  after  days,  he  called 
them.  He  loved  the  school  chapel,  every  brick  and  stone  and 
timber  of  which  he  had  seen  laid  and  carved ;  the  painted 
windows  of  which  he  had  planned  in  subject  and  design  so  that 
they  should  be  filled  in  on  one  harmonious  scheme  as  years  went 
on,  and  gifts  and  memorials  made  it  possible.  He  loved  its 
services,  its  short,  bright  daily  services,  with  the  hymns  of  his 
own  appointment  (used  in  after  years  in  the  private  chapel  at 
Addington) ;  the  ritual,  so  carefully  thought  out  and  so  quiet, 
a  prevision  of  the  Lambeth  judgment ;  the  looking  over  of  the 
boys,  and  their  orderly  filing  out  past  his  stall,  what  an  officer 
once  called  "the  best  bit  of  drill  he  ever  saw." 

1865-1873     REMINISCENCES— HENRY  SIDGWICK         249 
Professor  Henry  Sidgwick  writes  : — 

At  the  close  of  the  earlier  reminiscences  which  I  wrote  down 
for  you,  relating  to  your  father  as  I  knew  him  in  my  schooldays  at 
Rugby,  I  hinted  that  before  the  end  of  my  undergraduate  career, 
his  intellectual  influence  on  me  had  given  way  to  that  of  a  school 
of  thought  entirely  alien  to  his.  As  I  look  back  now  on  this 
change,  its  rapidity  and  completeness  seem  to  me  surprising : — 
or  rather,  perhaps,  they  would  seem  so,  if  I  had  not  in  later  years 
had  personal  experience — from  the  opposite  point  of  view — of 
similarly  swift  and  decisive  transfers  of  intellectual  allegiance  in 
the  case  of  pupils  of  my  own.  I  feel  bound  to  make  this  clear 
at  the  outset,  because  one  result  of  it  is  that— in  spite  of  an 
intimacy  never  clouded  by  any  consciousness  of  change  in  our 
relation  of  personal  affection — my  reminiscences  of  his  talk  and 
judgments  as  to  his  views  in  later  years  are  rather  those  of  an 
outsider,  intellectually  speaking.  At  the  same  time  the  very 
contrast  between  the  workings  of  our  minds  often  seemed  to 
suggest  to  me  a  vivid  idea  of  his  :  and  I  propose  to  put  together 
some  of  the  ideas  thus  obtained  and  give  them  you  for  what 
they  are  worth,  after  making  clear  the  conditions  under  which 
they  were  formed. 

To  explain  more  precisely  the  "contrast"  of  which  I  have 
spoken,  I  will  begin  by  sketching  briefly  the  ideal  which,  under    \ 
the  influence  primarily  of  J.  S.  Mill,  but  partly  of  Comte  seen 
through    Mill's    spectacles,    gradually   became   dominant   in    my 
mind   in   the   early  sixties  : — I  say  "  in  my  mind,"  but   you  will 
understand  that  it  was  largely  derived  from  intercourse  with  others 
of  my  generation,  and  that  at  the  time  it  seemed  to  me  the  only      \ 
possible  ideal  for  all  adequately  enlightened  minds.     It  had  two 
aspects,   one  social  and  the  other   philosophical  or  theological. 
What  we  aimed  at  from  a  social  point  of  view  was  a  complete 
revision  of  human   relations,   political,   moral  and  economic,   in 
the  light  of  science   directed   by  comprehensive   and   impartial 
sympathy ;  and  an  unsparing  reform  of  whatever,  in  the  judgment      i 
of  science,  was  pronounced  to  be  not  conducive  to  the  general      j 
happiness.     This  social  science  must  of  course  have  historical 
knowledge  as  a  basis :    but,   being   science,   it  must  regard  the 
unscientific  behefs,  moral  or  political,  of  past  ages  as  altogether 
wrong, — at  least  in  respect  of  the  method  of  their  attainment,  and 
the  grounds  on  which  they  were  accepted.     History,  in  short,  was 

250       REMINISCENCES— HENRY  SIDGWICK     aet.  36-44 

conceived  as  supplying  the  material  on  which  we  had  to  work,  but 
not  the  ideal  which  we  aimed  at  realizing ;  except  so  far  as  history 
properly  understood  showed  that  the  time  had  come  for  the 
scientific  treatment  of  political  and  moral  problems. 

As  regards  theology,  those  with  whom  I  sympathised  had 
no  close  agreement  in  conclusions, — their  views  varied  from  pure 
positivism  to  the  "  Neochristianity "  of  the  Essayists  and  Re- 
viewers :  and  my  own  opinions  were  for  many  years  unsettled  and 
widely  fluctuating.  What  was  fixed  and  unalterable  and  accepted 
by  us  all  was  the  necessity  and  duty  of  examining  the  evidence  for 
historical  Christianity  with  strict  scientific  impartiality ;  placing 
ourselves  as  far  as  possible  outside  traditional  sentiments  and 
opinions,  and  endeavouring  to  weigh  the  pros  and  cons  on  all 
theological  questions  as  a  duly  instructed  rational  being  from 
another  planet — or  let  us  say  from  China — would  naturally  weigh 

You  will  see  at  once  how  totally  alien  this  manner  of  thought 
was  to  your  father's.  For  him,  the  only  hope  of  effective  and 
complete  social  reform  lay  in  the  increased  vitality  and  increased 
influence  of  the  Christian  Church  :  useful  work  might  be  done  by 
those  outside — his  recognition  of  the  value  of  such  work  was 
always  ample  and  cordial — but  it  could  only  be  of  limited  and 
partial  utility.  The  healing  of  the  nations  could  only  come  from 
one  source ;  and  any  social  science  that  failed  to  recognize  this 
must  be  proceeding  on  a  wrong  track.  And  the  struggle  for 
perfect  impartiality  of  view,  which  seemed  to  me  an  imperative 
duty,  presented  itself  to  him — as  I  came  to  understand — as  a 
perverse  aiiid  futile  effort  to  get  rid  of  the  inevitable  conditions  of 
intellectual  and  spiritual  life.  I  remember  he  once  said  to  me  in 
those  years  that  my  generation  seemed  to  be  possessed  by  an 
insane  desire  to  jump  off  its  own  shadow :  but  the  image  was 
not  adequate,  for  in  the  spiritual  region  he  regarded  the  effort  to 
get  rid  of  the  bias  given  by  early  training  and  unconsciously  imbibed 
tradition,  as  not  only  futile  but  profoundly  dangerous. 

I  do  not  mean  that  he  failed  to  do  justice  to  the  motives  of 
free-thinkers.  Even  in  the  sixties — when  it  was  not  uncommon 
for  orthodox  persons  to  hint,  or  even  openly  say,  that  no  man 
could  fail  to  admit  the  overwhelming  evidence  for  Christianity, 
unless  his  reason  was  perverted  by  carnal  appetites  or  worldly 
ambitions — I  never  remember  his  uttering  a  word  of  this  kind  : 
and  I  remember  many  instances  of  his  cordial  recognition  of  the 

1865-1873     REMINISCENCES— HENRY  SIDGWICK         251 

disinterested  aims  and  moral  rectitude  of  particular  free-thinkers. 
Still,  the  paralysis  of  religious  life,  naturally  resulting  from  the 
systematic  and  prolonged  maintenance  of  this  attitude  of  "  un- 
biassed "  inquiry,  seemed  to  him  fraught  with  the  gravest  spiritual 
perils  ;  however  well-intentioned  in  its  origin,  it  could  hardly  fail 
to  be  seconded  by  the  baser  elements  of  human  nature,  the  flesh 
desiring  to  shake  off  the  yoke  of  the  spirit. 

It  was,  I  think,  primarily  owing  to  my  sense  of  the  deep 
and  irreconcileable  difference  between  our  points  of  view  on  this 
fundamental  question,  that  in  my  years  of  "storm  and  stress" 
as  regards  religious  convictions  and  ecclesiastical  relations — i.e. 
from  1859  when  I  took  my  degree  to  1869  when  I  resigned  my 
fellowship  at  Trinity — I  had  comparatively  little  direct  and  overj: 
discussion  with  him  on  the  problems  that  were  occupying  so  much 
of  my  thought.  But  there  were  other  reasons  for  this.  Though 
in  discussing  special  questions  of  history  or  scholarship,  or — when 
occasion  arose — of  ethics  or  theology  your  father  often  showed 
much  dialectical  acumen,  a  quick  and  eager  appreciation  of  subtle 
distinctions  and  an  intellectual  pleasure  in  ingenious  arguments, 
I  think  he  had  little  taste  for  arguing  out  methodically  points 
of  fundamental  disagreement  where  the  issues  were  large  and 
vital.  At  any  rate  I  think  he  would  rather  do  this  with  compara- 
tive strangers  than  with  intimate  friends  :  in  the  case  of  the  latter, 
the  sense  of  profound  divergence,  which  such  discussions  in- 
evitably intensify,  was  painful  to  him.  The  disposition  to  avoid 
such  discussions  was,  indeed,  only  the  negative  side  of  the 
sympathetic  quality  that  constituted  the  peculiar  charm  of  his 
conversation, — the  quickness  and  tact  with  which  he  found 
topics  on  which  his  interlocutor's  mind  was  in  general  harmony 
with  his  own,  and  the  spontaneous  buoyancy  and  force  of  sympathy 
with  which  he  threw  himself  into  full  and  frank  discussion  of  these 

Thus  in  the  years  of  which  I  am  speaking,  in  the  walks  we 
had  together  at  Wellington  College,  he  would  talk  of  things  and 
people  toAvards  whom  we  felt  more  or  less  similarly  :  of  scholar- 
ship and  literature  ancient  and  modern, — we  were  both  ardent 
Tennysonians  with  all  that  is  implied  in  enthusiastic  adhesion  to 
that  flag — of  school  organization  and  discipline,  and  the  peculiar 
problems  presented  by  his  work  at  Wellington  ;  of  his  friendship 
with  his  neighbour  Charles  Kingsley,  whom  he  knew  that  I 
admired  ;  and  so  on,  avoiding  points  of  fundamental  controversy 

252       REMINISCENCES— HENRY  SIDCxWICK     aet.  36-44 

so  that  one  never  felt  them  to  be  avoided.  Nor  do  I  mean  that, 
on  the  rare  occasions  on  which  I  introduced  such  topics,  he 
showed  any  reluctance  to  discuss  them  :  only  they  never  seemed 
to  come  in  naturally  :  I  had,  if  I  may  so  say,  to  drag  them  in  of 
set  purpose,  and  to  degrade  the  conversation  consciously  and 
deliberately  into  a  debate.  And  I  had  the  less  inclination  to  do 
this,  because  it  did  not  seem  to  me  that  your  father  had  any  turn 
for  the  particular  form  of  debate  which  seemed  to  me  required, 
for  arriving  at  satisfactory  conclusions  on  these  subjects.  What  I 
desired  was  a  discussion  systematized  and  methodized  with  the 
utmost  care,  with  the  processes  of  reasoning  laboriously  unfolded 
and  scrutinized  and  the  ultimate  principles  or  general  assumptions 
precisely  defined  and  made  completely  explicit.  But  most  of  this 
would  have  seemed  to  your  father  tiresome  and  pedantic  waste  of 
time.  The  attitude  of  sustained  reflection  on  the  logical  processes 
of  his  own  mind  was  alien  to  his  habit  of  thought.  I  have  heard 
him  more  than  once  express  his  sympathy  with  the  saying  of 
Goethe  that  he  could  not  interest  himself  in  "  thinking  about 
thinking."  His  mind  always  seemed  to  me  predominantly  synthetic 
in  its  movement  to  a  conclusion  theoretical  or  practical ;  scru- 
pulous in  avoiding  one-sidedness  of  view,  imperfect  knowledge 
or  unprecise  conception  of  the  data  on  which  judgment  had  to 
be  formed  ;  but  not  naturally  inclined  to  analyse  and  distinguish 
the  grounds  of  judgment  and  give  separate  weight  to  each.  To 
spare  no  pains  in  getting  all  the  relevant  facts  clearly  before  his 
mind ;  to  realize  vividly  the  significance  of  each  ;  and  then  to 
trust  the  conclusion  that  rose  spontaneously  in  his  mind  on  a 
contemplation  of  all  together — that  seemed  to  me  the  essence 
of  his  method. 

I  remember  once  talking  to  him  of  a  difficult  question  of 
school  management — cases  of  schoolboys  suspected  of  theft— 
which  was  then  occupying  the  newspapers.  He  said  "  My  plan 
was  simple :  when  a  case  of  suspicion  was  brought  before  me, 
I  would  say  nothing  and  keep  myself  from  forming  an  opinion, 
till  I  had  got  all  the  facts  quite  clear ;  and  then  I  would  work 
at  the  facts  till  my  mind  was  quite  made  up.  If  I  concluded 
against  the  boy,  I  would  then  send  for  the  parent  and  say, 
'These  are  the  facts,  this  is  my  conclusion,  this  is  what  I 
think  best  to  do  for  the  boy  and  for  the  school.  Will  you 
tell  me  frankly  what  you  think?'"  "And,"  he  added,  "I  never 
found  a  parent   unreasonable."     This   decisive   reliance   on   the 

1865-1S73     REMINISCENCES— HENRY  SIDGWICK         253 

general  resultant  impression  produced  on  his  mind  by  a  group 
of  facts  examined  as  closely  and  apprehended  as  precisely  as 
possible,  seemed  to  me  characteristic  of  the  manner  in  which  he 
dealt  with  theoretical  as  well  as  practical  questions. 

Connected  with  this  habit  of  mind  was  the  predominantly 
historical  character  of  the  ideas  that  stimulated  and  governed  his 
activity,  in  all  departments.  I  once  heard  him  called  a  conservative 
Stanley :  and,  in  spite  of  the  great  interval  that  separated  their 
theological  positions,  it  certainly  seemed  to  me  that  he  resembled 
Stanley  remarkably  in  the  breadth  and  force  of  his  religious 
sympathies,  playing  on  a  historical  basis,  in  the  vividness  with 
which  he  loved  to  imagine  the  scenes  and  personages  of  the  past, 
and  generally  in  the  historical  source  and  form  of  the  considera- 
tions that  guided  him  to  important  conclusions.  He  loved  not 
only  his  land  and  his  church,  but  all  the  particular  institutions,  to 
which  the  work  of  his  life  led  him  to  feel  the  eager  and  loyal 
devotion  that  was  the  spring  of  his  inexhaustible  activity, 

"with  love  far  brought 
From  out  the  storied  past." 

At  Lincoln  this  was  easy  :  a  man  must  have  an  obstinately 
unhistorical  mind  who  could  live  in  the  precinct  of  Lincoln 
Cathedral  without  having  his  thoughts  continually  carried  back  to 
times  long  ago.  In  Cornwall,  again,  antiquarian  interests  are 
nattiral  and  seductive :  what  was  characteristic  of  your  father  was 
that  he  studied  the  history  of  Methodism  in  his  diocese  with  no 
less  ardent  a  sympathy  than  the  history  of  the  Anglican  Church. 
But  Rugby  was — for  most  of  us  whose  connexion  with  it 
commenced  in  the  fifties — decisively  modern.  It  began,  in  fact, 
with  Arnold  :  the  times  before  Arnold  we  were  mostly  content  to 
regard  as  the  Moslems  regard  the  times  before  Mohammed. 
However,  before  your  father  had  been  there  long  he  had  formed 
for  himself  a  vivid  image  of  the  founder,  Lawrence  Sheriff,  and 
his  times  and  circumstances,  aims  and  aspirations ;  and  I  re- 
member well  the  impressiveness  with  which  he  brought  this  image 
before  our  minds.  And  I  used  to  say  that  in  spite  of  his  endless 
delight  in  scheming  and  planning, — and  even  in  the  hard  detailed 
labour  of  carrying  schemes  and  plans  into  effect — he  would  have 
found  it  difficult  to  interest  himself  as  he  did  in  the  making  of 
Wellington  College,  if  it  had  not  been  connected  with  the 
memory  of  a  great  national   hero.     But  here  I  believe    I  was 

254       REMINISCENCES— HENRY  SIDGWICK     aet.  36-44 

wrong :  if  it  had  been  simply  a  modern  commercial  school  in  a 
brand-new  suburb,  his  ingenuity  would  have  found  some  way  of 
sending  imaginary  roots  from  it  into  the  past,  and  surrounding 
it  with  historic  associations. 

It  often  seemed  to  me  surprising  that  a  man  so  fond  of  old 
things  as  your  father  should  also  have  so  eager  a  delight  in 
making  new  things :  and  in  fact  there  was  in  his  mind  a  remark- 
able combination  of  two  tendencies — one  to  practical  and  creative 
activity,  the  other  to  admiring  contemplation  of  the  past — each  of 
which  had  to  be  very  strong  to  balance  the  strength  of  the  other. 
I  cannot  but  think  that,  if  he  had  not  had  an  unusually  keen 
pleasure  not  only  in  achievement,  in  the  production  of  results 
socially  useful,  but  also  in  the  process,  the  ingenious  adaptation 
of  means  to  ends,  the  intensity  of  his  historical  interests  and 
sympathies  would  have  tended  to  make  him  purely  conservative 
— a  "  laudator  temporis  acti "  obstinately  opposed  to  innovation  : 
on  the  other  hand,  if  he  had  been  less  historically  minded,  his 
equally  imperious  desire  to  have  everything  with  which  he  had 
to  do  rightly  ordered  and  administered,  and  performing  its  work 
vigorously  and  effectively,  might  have  made  him  a  thorough-going 
radical.  The  result  of  the  two  tendencies  together,  balancing  and 
blending  with  each  other,  was  that,  while  intensely  averse  to 
destructive  changes,  he  was  always  inclined  to  sympathize  with 
efforts  at  social  reform  of  the  constructive  or  adaptive  kind, 
even  when  he  could  not  agree  with  the  principles  on  which  they 
were  founded.  I  have  always  thought  that — unlike  most  men 
— he  grew  less  conservative  as  he  grew  older :  still,  at  all  times 
of  his  life,  any  breaking  of  a  link  with  the  past,  not  absolutely 
indispensable,  would  give  him  pain,  any  preservation  of  such 
a  link  would  give  him  pleasure.  I  remember  that,  in  the  sixties, 
when  I  and  others  of  the  younger  fellows  were  organizing  and 
discussing  attacks  on  various  old  institutions  in  Trinity,  I  was 
usually  careful  not  to  talk  to  him  of  these  assaults,  planned  or 
delivered :  but  there  was  one  practice  as  to  which  I  hoped 
that  even  he  might  sympathize  with  our  condemnation — 
the  practice  of  making  the  sizars  dine  on  the  remains  of  the 
fellows'  dinner.  But  I  found  I  was  wrong ;  he  deprecated  any 
change ;  he  had  been  a  sizar  himself  and  had  always  felt  that,  as 
a  poor  student,  receiving  eleemosynary  assistance  from  an  in- 
stitution endowed  with  funds  to  promote  learning,  was  in  a 
perfectly  honourable  position,  it  was  mean  and  ungrateful  to  be 


ashamed  of  any  outward  symbol  of  the  position.  "  Especially," 
he  added, — not  wishing  to  speak  too  gravely  for  the  occasion — 
"as  we  got  a  very  good  dinner." 

On  the  other  hand,  if  he  hated  change,  he  was  still  more 
averse,  not  only  to  disorder,  but  to  want  of  efficiency,  stagnation, 
want  of  vitality  in  any  institution  in  which  he  took  an  interest. 
So  far  as  radicalism  means  a  disposition  to  wake  things  up,  make 
institutions  more  alive  and  machinery  more  efficient,  I  think  he 
generally  had  a  certain  sympathy  with  radical  movements,  even 
when  he  could  not  join  in  them,  or  even  felt  bound  to  resist 

This  essential  interest  in  vitality,  spiritual  and  social,  strongly 
influenced  the  attitude  of  his  mind  on  religious  and  ecclesiastical 
questions  :  and  more  and  more,  I  think,  as  time  went  on — though 
I  do  not  mean  to  suggest  that  there  was  any  fundamental  change. 

To  a  colleague,  who,  on  being  told  by  Dr  Benson  that  the 
ivork  done  by  his  form  was  wanting  in  accuracy,  had 
replied  by  compiling  a  list  of  elemejitary  mistakes  from 
a  bundle  of  Upper  Vlth  exercises. 

March  23,  1867. 
My  dear  a , 

It  would  really  be  better  that  you  should  not  reply, 
as  you  have  three  times  done,  to  advice  about  points  on  which 
I  wish  you  to  lay  more  stress  in  teaching  your  form,  by  preparing 
immediately  a  catalogue  of  mistakes  made  in  the  Vlth.  You  can 
scarcely  think  me  ignorant  of  their  shortcomings,  and  it  will  not 
alter  my  advice. 

I  want  you  to  take  my  hints  simply  as  they  are  meant,  and  to 
act  on  them  without  considering  that  there  is  any  necessity  for 
such  a  tu  quoque,  which  I  must  tell  you  plainly,  though  good- 
naturedly,  does  not  suit  either  your  dignity  or  mine. 

I  have  handed  your  notes  to  my  boys  who  will,  I  hope, 
lay  them  to  heart. 

Ever  yours, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

256         LETTER  TO  LIGHTFOOT— CYPRIAN      aet.  37-39 

To  Professor  LigJitfoot  in  reply  to  a  letter  urging  him 
to  zuritc  on  Tertnllian  or  Cyprian. 

April  7,  1867. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

Many  thanks  for  your  letter.  It  is  necessarily  a  great 
pleasure  to  think  that  you  and  Westcott  have  thought  me  capable 
of  writing  on  such  a  subject,  but  I  fear  that  I  should  disappoint 
you.  I  shall  probably  go  on  working  at  the  subject  for  myself, 
and  if  I  have  time  and  continued  health  I  shall  probably  write  on 
it.  But  then  failure  would  only  touch  me.,  and  no  one  would  have 
a  right  to  quarrel  with  me,  however  much  they  might  think  I  had 
mistaken  my  vocation.  But  if  I  write  for  you  and  Westcott,  I 
shall  fall  into  both  misfortunes. 

This  would  be  a  very  serious  consideration  :  for  I  would  rather 
enjoy  the  smiles  of  you  both,  even  if  they  were  somewhat  pitying, 
(considering  the  miserable  estate  of  a  Headmaster — that  servus 
servorum  mundi — )  than  have  you  both  frown  on  me  for  attempting 
what  I  could  not  compass,  even  at  your  request. 

I  have  not  yet  read  all  Tertullian  :  of  Cyprian  I  know  really 
nothing.  And  with  my  present  life  I  read  so  slowly  that  it  is 
impossible  for  me  to  say  when  I  could  be  ready,  (Kitchin  says 
Schoolmasters  will  undertake  anything,  but  never  finish  their  work 
— my  case  certainly,)  even  if  I  attempted  it. 

Then  I  feel  that  there  is  an  unknown  amount  of  knowledge 
required  as  to  the  source  of  Tertullian's  knowledge  of  either  the 
Text  or  the  interpretation  of  the  Bible.  And  Versions  are  a 
terrible  subject.  Though  Westcott  would  no  doubt  guide  me  in 
this,  he  would  I  have  no  doubt  find  me  as  inapt  as  he  has  done 
ere  now  in  other  things  which  I  did  not  like — Aristotle  to  wit. 

Now  all  this  considered  I  don't  quite  know  what  to  say.  I 
don't  want  pressing  to  try  anything  you  would  like  me  to  try,  but 
I  should  not  at  all  like  to  do  it  badly,  or  short  of  my  own  ideas  as 
to  what  ought  to  be  produced  on  such  a  subject. 

Your  ever  affectionate, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

1867-1868  LETTERS— CYPRIAN  257 

To  Professor  Lightfoot. 

The  Weird,  Niton. 
24  Aprils  1867. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

I  shall  like  Cyprian,  I  doubt  not,  almost  as  much  as 
Tertullian — I  hope  you  will  not  want  him  soon.  I  will  set  to  work 
immediately  with  a  will. 

I  shall  give  summer  holidays  D.V.  entire  to  it,  and  if  you  won't 
want  Cyprian  till  after  Xmas,  will  undertake  to  have  him  ready. 
This  is  what  I  hope  you  can  allow  in  the  way  of  time — I  might  do 
it  sooner,  but  would  rather  not. 

Yours  affectionately, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  the  Rev.  B.  F.  Westcott,  on  the  death  of  his  little 
daiigJiter,  my  father  s  godchild. 

29  Jan.  1868. 
Mv  dear  Westcott, 

If  as  a  Father  you  can  feel  so  purely  the  gain  of  dying, 
I  as  her  Godfather  ought  indeed  to  be  simply  glad  that  one  of  my 
children  is  with  God.  But  I  cannot  help  grieving  even  over  that 
little  one  who  has  only  been  "  suffered  to  come  "  without  one  stray 
glance  away  from  Him. 

To-day  when  your  letter  came,  tho'  I  knew  you  were  in 
mourning  already,  a  kind  of  strange  sense  made  me  draw  it  out 
of  a  whole  heap  of  letters  and  read  it  first.  I  felt,  in  the  strange 
way  one  feels  sometimes,  that  there  was  a  weight  in  it. 

Ever  with  our  love  to  all  your  house. 

Yours  lovingly, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  Canon  Wickenden. 

July  14,   1868. 
My  dearest  Fred, 

I  am  39  to-day.  And  full  of  grumps.  I  feel  I  ought 
to  congratulate  my  friends  on  their  having  had  another  year  over 
me,  and  really  life  is  now  so  full  of  mere  work,  with  a  constant 

B.  I.  17 


sense  of  dissatisfaction  brooding  over  the  hours,  and  so  Uttle  of 
time  for  enjoyment  that  the  very  power  of  enjoyment  goes  away 
fast,  and  I  constantly  go  off  from  pleasant  things  to  work  which  is 
not  pressing,  simply  because  I  can't  enjoy  pleasant  things.  My 
mood  all  day  is  to  be  glad  that  elasticity  does  not  act  as  once  it 
did,  and  repair  all  that  was  bent  at  a  bound,  and  I  own  I  mourn 
less  for  what  time  takes  away  than  for  what  it  leaves  behind.  One 
has  no  business  to  say  all  this  even  to  one's  oldest  friends,  however 
I  tmist  say  it  to  someone,  and  to  whom  so  well  as  to  you  ? 

Your  ever  affectionate, 

E.  W.  B. 

At  Wellington  my  father  as  a  headmaster  lived  rather 
outside  direct  ecclesiastical  influences ;  his  most  intimate 
friends  w^ere  engaged  in  work  similar  to  his  own.  Dr 
Westcott  was  a  house-master  at  Harrow  ;  Dr  Lightfoot 
was  Tutor  at  Trinity;  Mr  Hutchinson  was  at  Rugby; 
while  Mr  Wickenden  was  an  invalid.  In  1866,  in  the 
summer,  Dr  Westcott  and  Dr  Lightfoot  joined  in  a  summer 
expedition  with  ourselves  at  Llanfairfechan.  As  we 
drove  the  last  stage  of  our  journey  in  a  coach,  Lightfoot 
was  engrossed  in  a  novel  of  Jane  Austen's,  laughing  as 
he  read,  with  the  rich  chuckle  that  was  so  characteristic  of 
him,  and  refusing  to  look  at  any  of  the  surrounding  scenery. 
In  1868  the  same  party,  with  the  addition  of  Canon 
Wickenden,  took  two  adjacent  houses  in  Langland  Bay, 
near  Swansea.  To  Langland  also  came  John  Wordsworth, 
now  Bishop  of  Salisbury,  who  acted  for  a  time  as  my 
father's  Composition  Master  to  the  Vlth  form  at  Wellington. 
The  only  other  ecclesiastical  visitors  to  Wellington  that  I 
remember  were  Bishop  Atlay  of  Hereford,  and  Bishop 
Hatchard  of  Mauritius,  who  had  sons  at  the  school. 

Through  John  Wordsworth  my  father  was  introduced 
to  his  father,  Christopher  Wordsworth,  then  Archdeacon  of 
Westminster,  who    came  to  stay  at  Wellington   in    il 

i868        BISHOP    CHRISTOPHER   WORDSWORTH         259 

The  same  year  Bishop  Jackson  was  translated  to  the  See 
of  London,  and  Dr  Wordsworth  appointed  to  succeed 
him  at  Lincoln. 

Mr  Carr  writes  : — ^* 

I  may  mention  here  what  I  believe  was  the  first  interview 
between  Dr  Benson  and  his  predecessor  in  the  primacy,  Dr  Tait. 
It  was  on  the  occasion  of  the  marriage  of  the  Rev.  J.  H.  D.  Matthews, 
now  Headmaster  of  Leeds  Grammar  School,  with  the  Archbishop's 
niece.  Miss  Edith  Selfe.  The  wedding  breakfast  was  at  Lambeth 
Palace ;  Dr  Benson  was  among  the  guests,  and  in  the  course  of 
the  afternoon  Archbishop  Tait  took  him  and  others  (among  whom 
I  had  the  privilege  to  be)  over  the  palace.  It  was  an  interesting 
meeting  of  those  two  great  men,  and  I  believe  the  beginning  of 
their  friendship. 

To   tlie  Rev.  B.   F.    Westcott,  recently  appointed  Canon   of 


Wellington  College. 
20  Nov.  1868. 
My  dear  Westcott, 

First  let  me  say  how  glad  I  am  about  Peterboro'.  A 
tardy  recognition  and  small,  but  one  which  I  know  you  will  much 
care  for  and  the  first  only  I  hope  of  worthier  ones. 

Then  let  me  thank  you  for  your  sermon'.  The  only  thing  I 
do  not  like  candidly  is  its  hopelessness.  If  it  is  a  great  work,  why 
should  the  tone  of  the  sermon  place  you  yourself  outside  of  it  ? 
Am  I  wrong  in  so  reading  it,  or  is  it  but  eipwvct'a^  that  we  may  find 
suddenly,  while  listening  to  you  speaking  distantly  of  it,  that  the 
new  power  of  the  Kingdom  of  God  is  among  us  ?  For  all  else  it 
is  beautiful  and  noble  and  true — and  its  eipwvcia  may  be  well  its 
best  truth. 

You  will  be  pleased,  I  imagine,  about  London  ^  Not  displeased 
I  hope  about  Lincoln.  He^  was  staying  with  us  (having  received 
DisraeH's  letter  on  his  way),  while  making  up  his  mind.  Or  rather, 
while  altering  it — for  he  had  determined  to  refuse. 

^  Disciplined  Life. 

^  A  pretended  ignorance,  purposely  assumed. 
^  Bishop  Jackson  of  Lincoln,  recently  translated  to  London. 
*  Christopher  Wordsworth,    D.D.,    Archdeacon  of  Westminster,   recently 
appointed  Bishop  of  Lincoln. 

17  —  2 

26o  LETTERS— WORK  aet.  39 

He  is  really  a  most  loving  and  most  interesting  old  man.  He 
won  hearts  freely  just  by  his  simplicity  and  self-denyingness.  He 
is  more  than  nine-tenths  of  an  ascetic  already.  Shall  we  not  have 
in  the  Coenobium\  an  Episcopium — or  apartments  for  retired 
Bishops?  He  is  really  quite  eager  about  the  Coenobium — sees 
the  force  of  it. 

Yours  ever  affectionately, 

E.  W.  Benson, 

Doesn't  every  clause  of  the  Lord's  Prayer,  said  with  the  thought 
of  a  new  coming  organisation  within  the  Church,  seem  to  teem  and 
throb  with  a  new  life  ? 

To  Ills  friend  J.  F.    Wickenden. 

I  Dec.  1868. 
Dearest  Fred, 

What  account  of  yourself?  I  hope  you  don't  think 
that  my  trade  makes  me  really  as  un-fond  as  I  think  it  must  seem 
to  do.  You  have  no  idea  of  what  life  is  becoming  to  me — a 
humming-top  is  the  only  thing  that  resembles  it,  perpetual  motion, 
very  dizzy,  hollow  within,  keeping  up  a  continuous  angry  buzz. 

You  must  not  think  or  speak  of  yourself  as  you  do,  unless 
speaking  so  helps  you  not  to  think  so.  I  am  sore  puzzled — for 
Westcott  is  just  in  the  converse  frame  of  mind  to  you,  and  thinks 
he  has  sacrificed  higher  things  to  ^cwtlkoI  jxepifivat^,  and  I  don't 
know  what  to  say  to  him  because  he  won't  be  persuaded,  false  as 
his  fears  are.  (Of  course  you  won't  say  anything  of  this  to  anyone, 
— I  shouldn't  have  said  it  to  you,  except  that  your  own  unbased 
self-reproach  may  somehow  be  a  little  healed  by  looking  at  Ais — 
which  is  the  exact  converse.)  Who  are  such  consolers,  such 
friends,  such  helpers  when  there  is  no  help,  as  people  like  you  ? 
You  are  forbidden  to  take  constant  regular,  grinding  work  like 
ours  which  unfits  us  for  gentleness,  mercy,  faith,  that  you  may  do 
a  Samaritan  work.     If  you  are  quite  well  and  strong  again  you  will 

^  A  college  for  married  priests,  with  their  families,  which  Mr  Westcott 
thought  might  be  founded  with  advantage.  See  Contemporary  Revietv,  Vol. 
XIV.  p.    lOI. 

-  Cares  of  this  life. 


smile  at  me — but  I  feel  it  for  all  that — it  is  in  weakness  after  all 
that  men  are  most  strong: 

Man's  weakness  waiting  upon  God 

Its  end  can  never  miss — 
For  man  on  earth  no  work  can  do 

More  angel-like  than  this. 

Oh,  if  you  could  only  know  all  my  bitterness  of  self-reproach, 
called  to  a  work  of  which  I  am  not  worthy,  and  not  often  sensible 
of  its  importance,  you  would  be  thankful. 

Ever  your  loving  friend, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  the  Rev.  B.  F.  Westcott,  on  his  scheme  for  a  Cocnobmni. 

Wellington  College. 
3  Dec.  1868. 
My  dear  Westcott, 

I  was  very  much  obliged  to  you  for,  and  yet  very  sorry 
about,  your  last  kind  letter.  The  hope  of  the  Coenobium  is  I  fear 
dying  away  for  us.  But  though  it  is  very  true,  as  your  sermon 
says,  that  the  founders  of  the  ascetic  organisations  have  hitherto 
been  young  in  years — yet  the  very  idea  of  the  Coenobium  is  that 
it  should  be  begun  by  men  with  families.  It  must  be  in  its  birth 
what  it  is  to  be  afterwards.  The  world  is  to  be  resigned  by  the 
New  Coenobites  not  before,  but  after  they  have  entered  into  it, 
and  it  is  Family  Life  for  which  a  higher  pattern  wants  now  to 
be  set. 

I  know  the  caution  needed,  and  I  feel  that  in  fact  I  am  not 
nearer  to  it  than  you  are.  But  I  want  to  see  my  theory — and 
must  it  not  be  necessarily  out  of  the  ^iw/tikox  fj.ipifxvai  that  the  new 
order  will  come  forth  ?  As  for  your  not  having  listened  hitherto  to 
calls  from  Heaven,  I  am  sure  that  it  is  the  intensity  of  your 
listening  under  so  many  hindrances,  and  in  asceticism  which  you 
have  already  found  possible,  that  made  me  hope  the  star  would 
rise  in  our  own  day  and  over  our  peaks. 

But  I  am  far — oh  infinitely  far — from  being  ready  to  take 
the  step  myself. 

I  am  not  sure  whether  you  will  be  pleased  or  not  pleased  to 
hear  that  I  have  been  offered  and  accepted  the  Chaplaincy  to  the 


Bishop  of  Lincoln.  It  is  in  one  way  another  link  to  you  and 
Lightfoot  which  is  delightful  of  course.  But  I  feel  that  it  is  in 
some  slight  measure  a  compromise  of  myself  with  a  party  with 
whom  I  do  feel  but  do  not  think,  and  I  don't  know  whether  to 
look  for  good  or  harm.  However,  as  neither  is  more  likely,  I  need 
not  trouble  about  it.     My  colleague  is  Meyrick'. 

Ever  affectionately  yours, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  his    Wife. 
(Etithronenieiit  of  Bishop    Wordsworth. ) 

RiSEHOLME  Palace. 

March  31,  1869. 

I  couldn't  write  yesterday  before  post  time  to  give 
any  account  of  myself  as  you  are  superior  to  those  womanish  fears 
which  are  allayed  by  the  apparition  of  a  directed  envelope.  So 
I  did  not  post  one.  By  the  way  I  am  7iot  superior  to  them  :  so 
mind  you  always  send  me  a  line  under  similar  circumstances. 

The  county  of  Lincolnshire  is,  my  dear,  flat :  flat,  certainly, 
but  not  without  an  effectiveness  of  its  own.  But  Lincoln  Hill  is 
certainly  most  grand.  And  Lincoln  Cathedral  (with  its  long  ridge 
super-cathedrically  long,  and  its  three  towers,  which  are  propor- 
tioned to  one  another  and  the  ridge  in  a  very  perfect  way  regarding 
it  merely  in  block)  is  most  grandest. 

The  Bishop  came  very  punctually  and  the  Chapter  came  down 
the  Nave  to  meet  him  at  the  West  door,  headed  by  the  Dean  who 
en  route  asked  me  to  lunch.  The  rest  of  the  clergy  "  vested " 
some  in  surplices  and  some  in  gowns,  one  in  a  biretta,  two  in 
white  stoles,  and  one  occasionally  keeping  himself  warm  by 
wearing  his  hood  in  a  very  sensible  and  peculiar  manner  over  his 

The  Bishop  descended  from  his  carriage,  looking  well  but 
more  tired,  took  his  place,  the  clergy  preceding  him,  and  John 
Wordsworth  and  I  following  him  as  his  chaplains. 

The  Te  Deum  was  chanted  while  the  procession  advanced. 
It  went  right  up  to  the  high  altar  and  the  Installation  was  at 

^  The  Rev.  Frederick  Meyrick,  Prebendary  of  Lincoln,  Rector  of  Blickling 
with  Erpingham,  Norfolk. 


once  proceeded  with,  after  the  silent  prayer.     The  Dean  did  his 
part  well,  and  the  Bishop  with  great  dignity  and  as  if  he  meant  it. 
Then  to  the  Throne  in  which  he  was  placed  just  as  the  Arch- 
bishop was   at  Canterbury.     He  himself  then  read  the  Lord's 
Prayer  and  the  people  joined  in  at  "  And  lead  us  not."     A  good 
effect.     Then  versicles  and  responses — then,  "  How  beautiful  are 
the  feet,"  and  then  the  Collect.     The  Chapter  went  to  their  stalls  : 
I  had  the  honour  of  sitting  in  the  kind  of  wing  stall  which  in  this 
fine  old  throne  there  is  on  either  hand  of  the  Bishop's  throne  for 
his  chaplains  :■  John  Wordsworth  sat  next  to  me — Mrs  Wordsworth 
in  the  other  stall  on  the  west  side  of  the  throne.     If  I  had  had 
the   Mitre  on  my  knees,  or  the  book  of  the  Gospels,  like  the 
Archbishop  of  Rouen's  chaplains,  I  should  have  felt  beautifully 
mediaeval.     The  service  was  very  beautiful  to  my  mind  ;  the  boys 
singing  very  carefully  and  very  precisely,  though  the  pointing  was 
too  complicated  to  allow  of  its  being  congregational  enough,  and 
the  chants  were  not  familiar.     The  choir  was  very  full.     There 
were  a  good  many  people  about  in  the  nave,  and  there  were 
perhaps    100  clergy.     There  did  not  seem  to  have  been  wide 
enough  or  definite  enough  notice  about  the  day,  or  there  would 
have  been  more.     And  they  did  not  get  the  Mayor  or  the  laity 
well   represented.     The   Dean  and  Chapter  seem  to  have  very 
little  notion  of  how  to  manage  to  win  the  laity  and  they  are 
deservedly  unpopular  though  very  amiable,  nice  people.     They 
somehow  want  working  into  an  effective  institution  and  I  do  trust 
the  Bishop  will  be  able  to  lead  them.     He  has  the  most  fervid 
and  the  most  businesslike  ideas  as  to  getting  their  cooperation, 
by  consulting  with  them,  forming  committees  and  giving  them 
church  work  to  do  in  earnest.    It  is  only  in  this  way  that  Chapters 
and  such  bodies  can  regain  their  position  and  do  their  needful 
work  in  the  world  and  (if  it  is  not  already  too  late)  I  hope  the 
Bishop  may  induce  the  Chapter  of  Lincoln  to  do  something. 

After  the  Holy  Communion,  which  the  Bishop  celebrated  and 
which  was  a  new  thing  in  this  Cathedral ! — I  mean  on  such  an 
occasion — and  which  was  a  very  good  and  happy  hour  for  all 
(though  I  was  sorry  the  service  was  not  richer  at  this  highest 
point) — and  which  may  I  hope  be  a  sign  and  a  pledge  of  new 
blessings  and  truer  communion  of  pastors  and  people  than  in  past 
times — the  whole  company  went  into  the  Consistory  Court  where 
the  Bishop  delivered  a  most  remarkable  and  touching  and  business- 
like speech.     What  strikes  me  about  him  is  that  there  is  so  much 

264  LETTERS— BISHOP     WORDSWORTH       aet.  39 

poetry  about  his  views — the  very  highest  of  poetry  I  mean — in 
the  looking  to  an  ideal  state  of  things  both  in  common  life  and  in 
church  matters  together  with  such  wonderful  practicality  in  his 
idea  of  how  to  set  about  it.  Whether  with  such  a  diocese  he  will 
have  time  and  strength  to  organise  himself,  no  one  can  say.  But 
one  may  trust  that  he  will  inspire  some  people  and  set  them  to 
work,  on  a  less  confused  tack  than  hitherto. 

The  Bishop  spoke  of  the  suggestive  physical  characterisation 
of  the  place — a  Christian  Parthenon  on  a  Christian  Acropolis — 
"  a  city  set  on  a  hill " — high  above  the  smoke  and  din  of  the 
world — of  his  great  predecessor,  St  Hugh,  and  of  a  probable 
presence  of  a  Bishop  of  Lincoln  with  a  presbyter  and  deacon  (i.e. 
as  it  were  John  and  me)  at  the  Council  of  Aries  in  the  4th  century, 
which  opened  my  eyes  in  a  matter  of  antiquity.  Grosseteste ' — 
Sanderson' — and  Kaye'' — a  Reformer  before  the  Reformation — the 
author  of  the  Preface  in  Book  of  Common  Prayer — and  the 
learning  and  gentleness  of  the  last.  Then  he  spoke  of  clerical 
and  lay  action — and  what  do  you  think  ?  of  Woman's  action.  I 
almost  think,  of  the  representation  of  Women — "  to  whom  as  well 
as  to  ourselves  the  Church  belongs." — I  wished  you  had  been 
there  before  all  day,  but  especially  then.  You  see  that  Radicalism 
is  not  the  only  woman's  help.  He  spoke  most  feelingly  and 
movingly  too  of  the  position  of  Dissenters  and  of  how  we  ought 
to  deal  with  them.  Dissenters  through  no  fault  of  theirs — 
hereditarily  and  by  circumstances  only — and  not  at  present  bitter 
or  unmanageable. 

It  made  an  impression. 

He  walked  about  afterwards  shaking  hands  and  thanking  some 
clergy  present  for  an  address,  which  had  been  so  bunglingly 
managed  that  some  were  excluded — and  the  Chapter  who  ought 
to  be  the  very  persons  to  manage  all  such  things  had  not  signed 
at  all. 

We  all  went  to  the  Deanery  to  lunch,  a  nice  luncheon  but  too 
select.  Such  a  beautiful  house,  with  all  manner  of  arts  and 
sciences  and  luxuries  visible  everywhere,  not  protruded  you  know, 
but  peeping  out.  Jeremie^  of  course  full  of  complaints  in  all 
directions  against  people  who  had  not  given  him  due  notice  of 
how  when  and  for  whom  the  ceremonial  was  to  be.  But  we  know 
what  this  means.   Fancy  Alford  murmuring  because  he  didn't  know! 

1  Bishop  from  1235 — 1253.  "  Bishop  from   1660 — 1663. 

^  Bishop  from  1S27 — 1853.       •*  James  Amiraux  Jeremie,  Dean  1864 — 1872. 


But  he  is  very  poorly  and  looks  wretched.  I  am  sure  I  do 
not  know  what  would  become  of  the  Church  of  England  if  he 
resigned  his  Professorship ;  it  is  so  good  of  him  to  enjoy  it  and 
keep  out  some  possibly  dangerous  thinker  like  Westcott  for 
instance.  All  his  kindliness  which  is  great  and  his  wit  and  his 
knowledge  can't  make  me  forgive  this  deadly  wrong  he  is  doing 
at  this  time.  However  I  remember  him  in  the  Litany  and  hope 
his  heart  will  turn. 

Riseholme  is  really  a  fine  house  and  the  grounds  are  very 
nice.  There  is  a  lake  about  which  I  had  not  heard,  and  a  pretty 
and  dry  walk  by  it,  up  and  down  which  the  Bishop  walked  with 
me  for  more  than  half  an  hour ;  very  pleasant  it  was  and  very 
good  for  me.  I  don't  at  all  like  living  in  this  time  of  cloud.  If 
there  is  a  change  coming  in  the  Church  of  England  I  hope  it  will 
come  soon.  I  don't  approve  of  being  swept  away,  and  would 
rather  have  to  set  to  work  on  the  bits  and  rubbish  to  build  the 
new  house.  However  the  Bishop  and  I  agreed  that  the  change 
was  coming. 

The  Bishop  has  evidently  an  enormous  mass  of  work  and 
wants  a  private  secretary  to  do  nothing  else — a  Private  Secretary 
like  you,  who  could  write  exactly  like  him  and  forge  his  name 
and  not  trouble  him  about  his  letters  or  his  own  affairs  at  all— 
what  a  treasure  you  might  have  been  developed  into  by  a  judicious 
headmaster.  If  the  E.  S.  Bill'  is  carried  I  shall  retire  into  my 
dressing  room  occasionally,  teach  the  Sixth,  and  you  shall  carry 
on  everything  else.     I  will  take  Martin's  Latin. 

We  are  now  going  to  walk  into  Lincoln  to  the  service.  The 
maidens  are  highly  and  naturally  indignant  at  there  being  no  seat 
for  the  Bishop's  family.  They  sate  opposite  to  the  Throne 
yesterday  but  in  some  Prebend's  pew  not  their  own. 

It  is  ridiculous  and  is  among  those  things  in  which  Chapters 
are  so  silly.  They  stand  on  precedent  as  some  people  on  etiquette. 
It  may  be  questioned  whether  the  Dean  would  think  it  correct  to 
put  out  the  Bishop's  robes  if  they  caught  fire, — unless  some  Dean 
could  be  proved  to  have  done  it  before.  They  would  not  allow  a 
Canon's  baby  to  be  baptised  in  the  Cathedral  though  there  is  a 
font  there — on  that  ground. 

Your  most  loving  husband — with  regrets  after  all  that  I  didn't 
bring  you  by  might, 

E.   W.   Benson. 

1  The  Endowed  Schools  Bill  of  Mr  W.  E.  Forster. 

266  PREBENDARY   OF   LINCOLN  aet.  39 

Bishop  Wordsworth  nominated  my  father  his  examining 
chaplain,  and  made  him  Prebendary  of  Heydour-cum- 
Walton,  the  stall  of  which  was  close  to  the  stall  he  was 
afterwards  to  occupy  as  Chancellor.  The  Chapter  of 
Lincoln  is  supposed  to  say  the  Psalter  daily,  a  portion 
being  assigned  to  each  Prebendary.  My  father's  Psalms 
were  iv.  and  v.,  Cmn  invocarem  and  Verba  mea  auribus ;  a 
plaster  cast  of  the  Miserere  of  his  stall  adorned  ever  after 
the  walls  of  his  study. 

In  the  evening  before  his  installation  as  Prebendary  of 
Lincoln,  he  wrote  the  following  prayer  : — 

Lincoln,  July  8,  1869. 

Lord,  Thou  knowest  how  from  a  child  Thou  hast  put  it  into 
my  heart  dearly  to  love  the  beauty  of  Thy  house — and  how 
earnestly  in  all  the  minsters  of  England  I  have  prayed  that  Thou 
wouldest  raise  up  once  more  among  us  the  Spirit  whereby  they 
were  once  builded  to  Thy  Name,  and  inhabited  to  the  peace  and 
edifying  of  Thy  people ;  and  that  Thou  wouldest  give  even  to  me 
some  portion  of  that  Spirit  and  some  sight  of  the  work  thereof 
before  I  die,  and  some  part  in  the  same. 

Let  my  prayer  continue  in  Thy  sight,  and  hearken  unto  it,  O 
Lord.  I  thank  Thee  that  Thou  givest  me  to  sit  in  Thy  holy  Church 
of  Lincoln,  though  the  ofifice  of  Thy  churchmen  is  become  for  our 
sins  and  uselessness  but  a  shadow. 

We  and  our  fathers  have  abused  and  wasted  and  corrupted 
Thy  glorious  gifts  of  old  and  they  were  taken  from  us  and  we  care 
not,  because  we  know  not  how  great  is  the  work  that  is  passing 
out  of  our  hands  and  how  large  the  means  which  Thou  hadst  given 
us  to  perform  it. 

O  Lord,  have  mercy  on  us  ere  it  be  too  late.  Let  not  learning 
and  study  and  peace  and  beauty  and  order  be  taken  away  from 
us.  Restore,  O  Lord,  the  colleges  of  Thy  priests  through  the  whole 
land,  but  let  them  be  priests  rich  of  poverty  and  alms-deeds,  of 
diligence  in  mercy  and  in  sacrifice,  of  righteousness,  of  zeal,  and 

Let  them  know  that  the  vileness  and  thought  of  our  vices  and 
the  misery  of  our  ignorance  will  not  pass  from  town  or  country 
through  the  ease  of  pastors  and  the  sweetness  of  their  inheritance. 


By  the  Sign  of  the  Cross,  good  Saviour,  teach  us  this. 

Thou  hast  said  Blessed  are  the  poor,  but  we  all  seek  to  be 
rich  and  plentiful  in  quietness. 

And  the  priests'  wives  and  children  that  should  strengthen  us 
a  hundredfold  are  through  our  weakness  snares  unto  us. 

This,  Lord,  is  painful,  pitiful  confession  of  my  own  sin  and 
weakness  and  the  weakness  of  my  brethren.  And  it  is  not  in  me  to 
help.    But,  O  Lord,  send  by  the  hand  of  him  whom  Thou  wilt  send. 

And  in  silence  and  unknown,  let  me  help  in  the  cause  and 
open  ways  speedily,  good  Lord,  that  we  know  not,  ere  I  be  old 
and  die.  The  sins  of  my  youth  and  the  selfishness  of  all  my  days 
have  taken  all  strength  out  of  me  and  I  ask  no  honour  in  Thy 
service  for  I  deserve  but  shame.  But  I  pray — I  earnestly  pray — 
I  earnestly  beseech  Thee,  good  Lord,  to  let  me  have  some  work 
to  do  and  grace  to  do  it.  To  feed  Thy  sheep  better  than  I  have 
fed  Thy  lambs. 

My  life  has  not  shed  light,  O  Lord,  and  therefore  my  words 
can  give  no  more  strength.  But,  good  Lord,  let  the  words  be 
Thine,  and  let  not  me  nor  any  man  ever  think  them  mine,  and 
the  vileness  of  Thine  instrument  shall  magnify  Thy  glory. 

O  Lord,  restore  to  Thine  houses  Thine  old  armies  of  priests  and 
companies  of  preachers,  but  let  them  be  the  people's  priests — not 
lovers  of  wealth  nor  courtiers  of  power — let  us  have  learnt  our 
lesson  once  for  all,  good  Lord,  to  belong  but  to  Thee  and  Thy 
poor  people — so  shall  not  history  and  life  and  Thy  word  be  wasted 
on  us  any  more,  nor  even  on  me  Thy  poor  and  blessed  servant. 
O  Jesu,  Shepherd,  Master,  Prince,  listen  and  save. 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  be  made  Prebendary  of  Lincoln  to-morrow  in  the  Stall  of 
Heydour-cum-Walton — and  I  ignorant  of  the  very  meaning  of 
such  a  word '. 

*  See  Lincoln  Cathedral  Statutes,  Part  I.  the  Liber  Niger,  Bradshaw  and 
Wordsworth,  Cambridge,  1892,  p.  ^lo.  "Another  copy  (i.e.  of  a  form  of 
Installation  of  a  Canon  or  Prebendary,  printed  in  1863)  used  at  the  admission 
of  Dr  Benson  to  the  prebend  of  Heydour-cum-Walton,  July  9,  1869,  is  now 
preserved  in  the  Muniment-room  at  Lincoln  (A.  4.  12).  It  was  supplied  to 
him  as  the  authorized  form  by  the  Chapter  Clerk.     The  form  of  oath  contains 

the  following  clauses:    ' do  swear  that  I... will  observe  and  keep  all  the 

Statutes,   Customs  and  Ordinances,  written  in  the  New  Registry,  and  also 
all   others    published    or    hereafter    to   be    made    and    published    by    lawful 

authority I  will  inviolably  observe  the  Laudtim  or  determination  of  the 

late  Venerable  Father  in  God,  William  Alnwick,  Bishop  of  Lincoln,  so  far  as 

268  CATHEDRAL   LIFE  aet.  39-40 

This  appointment,  which  involved  no  residence  but  only 
two  annual  sermons,  was  an  immense  pleasure  to  my  father. 
The  connection  with  the  ancient  foundation  of  such  a 
Cathedral  was  a  source  of  pure  delight  to  him ;  Cathedral 
problems,  long  congenial  to  him,  began  to  occupy  his  mind 
closely ;  these  thoughts  were  the  germ  of  his  article  on 
"  The  Cathedral,  its  Life  and  Work,"  published  in  the 
Quarterly  Reviczu^,  and  his  contribution  to  the  Essays  on 
Cathedrals,  edited  by  Dean  Howson  (1872,  Murray),  which 
he  afterwards  reprinted  in  one  volume  and  amplified^ 
His  friend  Westcott  was  by  this  time  a  Canon  of 
Peterborough,  and  was  much  occupied  with  the  scheme 
already  referred  to,  of  a  Coenobium,  or  monastic  establish- 
ment of  married  clergy  who  were  to  live  simple  domestic 
lives  of  study.  It  is  to  be  feared  that  the  essence  of  such 
establishments  is  after  all  celibacy,  without  which  men 
cannot  have  the  freedom  from  cares  or  the  sense  of  common 
as  opposed  to  individual  attachment  to  their  work.  My 
father  was  more  definite :  he  was  anxious  to  see  established 
celibate  societies  of  preachers,  but  he  realised  that  the 
Canonical  life  could  well  be  restored  in  modern  days,  and 
that  marriage  might  help  rather  than  hinder  it. 

The  following  letters  passed  between  him  and  some  of 
his  old  friends  on  the  duties  of  Prebendaries. 

Wellington  College. 
July  10,  1869. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

I  have  two  most  pleasant  letters  of  yours  unanswered— 
a  rare  event  for  you  and   me.     I  wish   I   could  have  come  to 

I  lawfully  can,  and  may,  by  lawful  authority  be  required  to  do....'  I  have 
some  recollection  that  it  was  in  his  efforts  to  investigate  and  to  understand  the 
obligations  involved  in  the  latter  clauses  that  Dr  Benson  (now  Primate  of  all 
England)  learnt  many  of  those  lessons  from  the  '  Old  Activity '  which  have 
helped  to  direct  the  renewed  life  of  the  Church  of  England  in  recent  years. " 

1  Vol.  130,  No.  259. 

-  The  Cathedral :  its  necessary  place  in  the  life  and  work  of  the  Church,  by 
Edward  White  Benson,  Bishop  of  Truro.     Published  by  John  Murray,  1878. 

i869         LETTERS— DUTIES  OF  PREBENDARIES         269 

Windsor,  simply  because  your  proposal  was  so  delightful.  I  should 
have  enjoyed  to  walk  with  you  beyond  anything.  But  the  after- 
noon had  to  be  spent  in  travelling  to  Lincoln,  where  I  was 
yesterday  installed  as  Canon  of  the  Cathedral  Church  of  the 
Blessed  Virgin  Mary  of  Lincoln,  and  Prebendary  of  Heydour- 
cum- Walton  in  the  same  Church  ! 

And  now  I  want  you  to  write  me  a  screed  on  what  you 
consider  to  be  the  duties  of  unendowed  Prebendaries  in  Cathedral 
Churches,  what  they  are  to  be  and  do  or  aim  at.  There  are 
two  annual  sermons  connected  with  this  stall — but  that,  I  suppose, 
you  would  not  think  to  be  the  epyov.  What  is  the  raison  d'etre 
of  an  unendowed  prebend  ?  It  is  not  an  ecclesiastical  medal, 
is  it  ?  If  you  say  yes,  I  shall  be  ashamed  of  having  taken  it,  for  I 
haven't  deserved  it.  And  yet — however,  sketch  me  out  my  duties : 
I  shall  ask  B.  F.  W.  the  same,  and  if  your  views  converge  I  shall 
be  satisfied,  as  well  I  may  be. 

How  unkind  to  say  that  you  imagine  I  don't  hate  show  days. 
If  you  saw  me  blanched  and  boiled  on  Speech  Day  you  wouldn't 
say  so — Ugh  ! 

By  the  way.  Prebendaries  of  Lincoln  have  votes  in  the 
Chapter  for  election  of  Bishop — and  Proctors :  when  we  are 
disestablished,  our  wasted  vote  will  become  precious.  But  don't 
say  we  must  wait  till  then. 

The  Bishop  is  very  anxious  we  should  do  something.  But 
quoi  ? 

Affectionately  yours, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To   the  Rev.  J.  F.    Wickenden. 

Master's  Lodge, 

Wellington  College. 
15  Jtcly,  1869. 
My  dear  Fred, 

I  am  so  much  obliged  to  you  for  your  jolly  little  note, 
that  I  take  the  liberty  of  saying  so— at  the  same  time  as  I  thank 
you  for  your  former  letter  (grievously  misdated  "  St  Peter's  Day  ") 
congratulating  me  on  my  Stall. 

You  know  me  well  enough  to  know  that,  whether  it  is 
childishness  or  not,  the  thing  pleases  me  more  than  what  many 
would  consider  far  more  fortunate  things.     Surely  the  fact  of  so 

2  70     LETTERS— DUTIES  OF  PREBENDARIES    aet.  40-42 

much  gold  being  or  not  being  attached  to  a  priesthood  in  a  Church 
does  not  make  the  difference  between  reality  and  shadow. 

But  I  don't  know  whether  you  are  aware  that  Canons  of 
Lincoln — for  in  spite  of  the  usual  name  we  are  "  Canons  of 
Lincoln  and  Prebendaries  of  such  a  Stall " — have  votes  in  the 
Chapter — for  the  Bishop  !   in  his  election  ! 

But — ah  my  revered  friend — just  wait  till  we  are  disestablished, 
and  then  the  vote  will  mean  something.  The  matter  has  been 
brought  into  court,  and  meaningless  as  the  privilege  is,  who  knows 
but  that  the  decision  that  the  votes  are  legally  to  be  taken  in  that 
and  one  or  two  other  little  things,  may  not  just  be  the  under- 
ground thread — the  winter  life  of  the  Dormouse. 

E.  W.  B. 

To  Canon    Wcstcott. 

2,  Esplanade,  Whitby. 

12  Au^.  1869. 


I  want  very  seriously  to  ask  you  what  are  the  duties 
of  unendowed  Prebendaries.  You  are  the  only  person  I  know 
who  has  given  any  serious  consideration  to  Cathedral  subjects. 
They  seem  to  me  to  be  very  important  subjects,  and  yet  the 
world  seems  to  be  letting  Cathedrals  sink  out  of  existence,  and 
the  cathedral  bodies  to  be  doing  a  great  deal  to  bury  them  out 
of  sight.  You  will  not  feel  insulted  because  I  know  you  are  of 
the  same  mind,  and  if  any  one  will  do  something  to  save  them — 
(and  I  hope  and  trust  leirife  something  to  show  their  place  and 
function  before  it  is  too  late)  it  is  you. 

Now  it  seems  to  me  that  the  fact  of  receiving  money  does 
not  make  the  whole  difference  between  the  functions  being  real 
and  being  none — and  so  I  want  you  seriously  to  tell  me  what 
you  do  think  the  unendowed  Prebendary  of  Heydour-cum-Walton 
in  the  Cathedral  Church  of  the  Blessed  Mary  of  Lincoln  ought 
to  do  for  his  work.  I  have  to  preach  twice  in  the  year  and  to 
recite  daily  two  Psalms.     Is  that  all  ? 

I  have  also  a  vote  for  the  election  of  Bishop.  Is  the  whole 
function  become  a  scorn  and  derision  unto  men  that  are  round 
about  us  ?  If  you  say  so,  I  shall  doubt  whether  I  am  a  Bonze  or 
a  Trpeo-^iJTepos^ 

Affectionately  ever  yours, 

E.  W.  Benson, 

1  A  Presbyter  or  Elder. 

1869-1871     LETTERS— DUTIES  OF  PREBENDARIES      271 

To  Canon    Westcott. 

2,  Esplanade,  Whitby. 

SepL  4,  1869. 
My  dear  Westcott, 

If  jou  cannot  tell  me  what  are  the  duties  of  our 
unendowed  Prebendary,  I  must  subside.  I  asked  Lightfoot  too 
and  he  only  chaffs.  But  I  cannot  believe  it  to  be  too  late  to  do 
something.  I  feel  more  and  more  devoted  to  the  idea  of  cor- 
porate associations,  and  their  work — and  to  see  them  perish  off 
the  face  of  the  English  earth  is  too  grievous.  If  I  had  a  private 
fortune  I  should  certainly  go  and  live  at  Lincoln  and  try  whether 
I  could  not  be  allowed  to  do  something.     But  how  I  prate  ! 

Ever  yours  affectionately, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

Two  years  later  he  felt  somewhat  differently,  and  wrote 

again : — 

To  Canon    Westcott. 

Wellington  College. 

Sept.  30,  1 87 1. 
My  dear  Westcott, 

It  seems  to  me  that  a  Prebendal  Stall  has  ceased  to 
be  a  shadow  even,  or  to  contain  a  hope.  I  may  have  been 
dreamy  or  foolish  in  supposing  it  was  a  representation  of  what 
had  been,  and  might  be  again,  which  it  was  worth  keeping  up, 
just  for  the  sake  of  continuing  a  tradition  to  bridge  over  the 
intervening  epoch.  But  at  any  rate  I  was  serious,  or  I  should 
not  have  allowed  myself  to  be  installed  with  a  religious  Service, 
and  have  taken  a  very  solemn  oath  that  I  would  maintain  the 
"  rights  "  of  the  Chapter. 

But  now,  the  Bishop's  Council  having  been  reconstituted  in 
a  formal  way',  the  holder  of  a  stall  has  become  only  a  person 
allowed   to   wear   a   surplice   and    to    preach   twice    in    Lincoln 

1  The  Ecclesiastical  Commissioners  Act  1840  formed  a  code  remodelling 
the  Capitular  System.  Among  other  provisions  the  annual  residence  of  Deans 
and  Canons  was  tixed  at  8  and  3  months  respectively.  At  Lincoln  a  fourth 
Residentiary  Canonry  was  added  to  the  three  already  existing,  and  the 
Prebends  were  converted  into  Honorary  posts,  their  incomes  being  merged 
into  the  Commissioners'  Common  Fund. 

272  LETTERS— RISEHOLME  aet.  40-42 

Minster — and  the  oath  is  broken — or  at  least  has  become  one 
which  there  is  no  possibiUty  of  fulfilHng.  I  have  thought  it  over 
and  do  not  at  present  see  it  in  any  other  way. 

If  I  oi(ght  to  have  seen  it  at  first,  and  known  that  there  was 
no  reahty,  I  am  very  sorry.  Because  I  do  not  wish  to  be  a  figure 
in  ecclesiastical  farces ;  and  if  either  the  status  is  changed,  or  if 
simply  my  eyes  are  opened,  I  think  upon  the  whole  I  ought  to 
retreat  from  a  false  position.  I  shall  be  very  sorry  indeed  to  vex 
the  Bishop  of  Lincoln,  but  I  have  thought  of  writing  to  him  to 
resign  the  stall.  Indeed  I  have  half  written  the  letter  explaining 
my  reasons,  but  I  quite  determined  to  do  nothing  rashly,  and  to 
write  to  you  before  I  sent  it.  You  are  the  one  person  in  England 
who  thoroughly  understands  it,  and  I  am  myself  quite  at  sea  in 
many  points  which  to  you  are  quite  clear  on  principle.  If 
therefore  you  will  be  so  kind  as  to  help  my  decision,  I  shall 
be  once  again  grateful. 

Yours  ever  affectionately, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

The  Headmaster  after  some  thought  decided  not  to 
resign  the  Stall.  The  traditions  of  Lincoln  were  already- 
very  dear  to  him,  and  he  looked  upon  the  appointment  as 
having  come  to  him  as  a  call  to  do  his  best  to  infuse  new 
spirit  into  ancient  forms.  As  he  so  often  said  afterwards, 
"  It  is  a  great  mistake  to  abolish  old  traditions  because 
they  seem  to  be  practically  useless :  they  meant  something 
once :  we  ought  to  try  and  revivify  them  that  they  may 
mean  something  now." 

To  his   Wife. 


17  Sept.  1869. 

Yesterday  afternoon  Susan  and  John  and  I  walked 
with  the  Bishop  after  the  Paper,  and  a  delightful  walk  the  other 
way  round  to  the  one  which  you  didn't  go  after  you  went  away 
the  day  before,  so  now  you  know  exactly.  It  was  towards 
Nettleham.  Well,  the  Bishop's  talk  was  delightful  and  went  on 
to  the  end  of  the  world  and  I  was  surprised  that  he  does  not 
expect  a  material  restoration  of  the  Jews.     Perhaps  I  should  have 

1869-187 1  LETTERS— RISEHOLME  273 

known,  but  John  didn't  either.  You  should  have  seen  him  just 
stand  and  lift  up  his  hands  (not  in  deprecation,  but  earnestness) 
and  say,  "  Not  in  the  least,  John — not  in  the  least — don't  let  us 
Judaise  Christendom — let  us  Christianise  Sion — wherever  a  child 
is  baptised,  there  is  Sion — there  a  citizen  is  born  into  Sion." 

In  the  evening  they  made  me  tell  the  stories  of  St  Hugh  I 
told  you  at  Whitby.  I  just  made  it  a  little  more  complete — and 
looked  at  my  watch — I  daresay  I  made  plenty  of  mistakes,  indeed 
I  was  pulled  up  for  some — but  /  was  interested  and  they  kindly 
declare  they  were.  The  best  was  that  Monsignore  did  not  go  to 
sleep.  He  winked  40  times  in  succession  just  at  the  end — but 
not  41  times.  I  said  a  very  little  about  the  last  scenes,  but  I 
couldn't  trust  myself  to  say  all.  I've  promised  to  read  a  little  of 
what  I  read  to  you  one  night  to  the  Maidens  by  themselves,  only 
it  must  be  when  I  don't  feel  cry-ey. 

I  wish  I  had  tit7ie.  I  think  I  shall  speak  to  Macmillan  about 
St  Hugh.  But  how  am  I  to  do  one  tenth  of  the  things  I  have  to 
do  ?  With  my  head  full  and  bound  to  be  full  from  morning  to 
night  of  the  faces  and  fortunes  and  nicenesses  and  naughtinesses 
of  all  those  320 — and  what  I  must  try  to  make  the  Governors  do, 
and  Mr  Gleig,  and  enmities  and  intrigues  and  book-keeping  and 
the  price  of  meat,  and  the  consumption  of  beer,  and  my  sermons 
on  Sundays,  and  Westcott  and  the  Dictionary ;  however  I  think 
all  those  are  so  many  disjected  stones  and  that  they  want  a 
keystone  to  make  them  into  an  arch  stable  and  true  and  that  their 
keystone  (I  think)  is  St  Hugh. 

Fancy  what  appears  by  the  Register !  Won't  Jeremie  shake  in 
his  shoes  ? 

Dean  Mackworth  was  presented  to  the  Bishop  in  the  14th 
century,  for  various  articles,  among  which  was  that  he  wouldn't 
walk  in  the  procession  "directe  et  linealiter,"  but  would  walk 
"oblique" — and    either    side    by    side   with   or   close   after   the 

officiating  clergyman. 

Your  ever  loving  husband, 

E.  W.  B. 
He   writes   in   a    Diary   a   description    of  one   of    his 
journeys  to  Lincoln  at  the  end  of  1870  for  his  preaching 
turn  as  Prebendary  : — 

Sunday^  Jan.  i   (187 1).     I  travelled  from  Exeter  to  Lincoln 
on  Dec.  31,  and  had  still  to  end  my  sermon.     I  preached  in  the 
B.  I.  18 

274  DIARY— SERMON   AT   LINCOLN       aet.  40-41 

Cathedral  in  my  turn  as  Prebendary  on  the  Circumcision,  the 
Festival  taking  precedence  of  the  Sunday,  which  had  otherwise 
been  the  turn  of  the  Archdeacon  of  Lincoln.  I  ventured  to 
preach  on  the  necessity  for  steady  preparation  for  the  disestablish- 
ment of  the  Church  of  England.  In  the  afternoon  the  Bishop 
Suffragan  of  Nottingham  preached  in  the  Nave  and  openly 
criticised  my  sermon.  But  he  was  friendly  to  me  personally, 
though  he  spoke  of  the  subject  after.  He  is  content  with  things 
as  they  are.  The  Bishop  of  Lincoln  not  so,  but  thinks  we  need 
not  precipitate  by  looking  on.  He  wishes  me  to  preach  the  other 
side  of  my  view — the  loss  to  the  State  which  will  ensue. 

Monday,  Jan.  2.  Lunched  at  two  with  the  Dean^ — most 
amusing— acute — witty — his  quotations  from  French — his  plain 
but  perfect  table — make  me  always  think  of  a  French  eccle- 
siastic before  the  Revolution.     The  very  last  of  the  type. 

Since  he  resigned  the  Regius  Professorship  he  has  taken  a  new 
lease  of  life  and  spirits. 

The  merry  pleasant  anecdotage  of  the  conversation  is  all  that 
one  can  carry  away ;  and  certainly  if  Deans  and  Minor  Canons 
live  this  life  of  elevated  gossip  always,  it  is  very  different  from  the 
earnest  life  of  the  Bishop's  house.  But  whose  fault  is  it,  but  of 
those  who  have  alternately  taken  away  means  and  work  from  what 
should  be  the  greatest  institutions  of  the  Church  ? 

The  close  relation  which  sprang  up  between  my  father 
and  mother  and  the  whole  Wordsworth  family  was  a 
source  of  the  deepest  happiness.  Besides  the  Bishop  with 
his  vast  learning,  his  mystical  devotion,  his  brave  and 
tender  spirit,  his  deep  unworldliness,  there  was  Mrs  Words- 
worth, the  most  affectionate  of  friends;  Elizabeth,  now 
Head  of  the  Lady  Margaret  College  at  Oxford,  whose 
interests  were  as  wide  as  her  insight  was  swift,  and  whose 
facility  not  only  in  literature  but  in  art  was  remarkable ; 
Mary,  now  wife  of  Canon  Trebeck  of  Southwell ;  Priscilla, 
wife  of  Dr  Steedman  of  Oxford ;  Susan,  now  living  at 
Lincoln ;  Dora,  who  married  my  father's  successor,  Chan- 
cellor Leeke — all  most  sisterly  spirits  ; — John,  now  Bishop 

^  Jeremie. 

1869-1870     REMINISCENCES— MISS  WORDSWORTH     275 

of  Salisbury,  with  his  fertile,  slowly-working  and  profound 
mind ;  and  Christopher,  then  at  Cambridge,  a  man  of 
patient  erudition.  This  sudden  discovery  of  so  many  like- 
minded  friends  stimulated  my  father's  whole  life,  and  gave 
him  a  new  form  of  happiness.  It  was  just  what  he  needed 
to  brighten  a  life  of  drudgery  and  authority  that  tended 
to  centre  his  thoughts  on  himself  and  a  somewhat  narrow 

His  health,  which  had  not  been  good,  improved  :  he 
became  better,  and  by  1870  he  had  recovered  his  vigour  of 
body  and  mind.  Very  great  was  the  benefit  derived  from 
the  delightful  holidays  taken  in  concert  with  the  Words- 
worth family  at  Whitby  in  1869  and  Ambleside  in  1870. 

Miss  Wordsworth  writes  : — 

Among  the  pleasantest  of  our  recollections  are  those  visits 
at  Wellington  College  at  the  close  of  the  sixties  and  the  be- 
ginning of  the  seventies.  I  never  get  a  glimpse  of  the  fir  woods 
now  when  travelling  on  the  South  Eastern  line,  without  feeling  as 
if  the  old  life  must  be  hidden  away  somewhere  behind  those  red 
stems  and  deep  green  branches,  that  your  mother  must  be  on  the 
look-out  for  us  with  a  volume  of  Browning  in  her  hand,  and  a 
corner  of  that  green  velvet  sofa  kept  vacant  in  the  pretty  room 
with  its  pine-wood  wainscoating  and  the  beautiful  prints,  and  that 
your  father  will  be  coming  in  to  insist  on  our  hurrying  out  before 
it  gets  too  dark  to  see  the  new  mosaics,  St  Matthew,  Daniel,  or 
Melchisedek,  in  the  Chapel. 

In  those  days  he  was,  I  believe,  the  youngest-looking  of  Head- 
masters, and  this  look  of  youth  lasted  quite  into  middle  age  ;  this 
was  partly  owing  to  his  abundant  hair,  light  brown  and  for  a  long 
while  hardly  touched  with  grey,  his  clean-shaven  face  and  active 
eager  looks  and  movements.  I  think  I  should  say  that  eagerness, 
fervour  perhaps  would  be  a  better  word,  was  his  main  characteristic. 
I  always  used  to  notice  the  size  of  his  eye-balls,  which  when  he 
was  excited  showed  more  than  in  an  ordinary  man's  face.  He  had 
the  hands  too  of  an  enthusiast,  every  finger  full  of  character  and 
vigour.  It  was  a  pleasure  to  see  him  handle  anything.  It  was 
curious  that  with  an  oval  head  and  face  the  hands  as  I  remember 
them  were  very  square.    The  beautiful  brow  and  mouth  are  familiar 

2  76    REMINISCENCES— MISS  WORDSWORTH    aet.  40-42 

to  us  all  from  photographs ;  he  used  to  laugh  and  say  that  when  a 
boy  he  had  tried  to  cultivate  a  "  horse-shoe  frown,"  which  readers 
of  Scott  will  remember  characterised  the  race  of  Redgauntlet. 
The  line  of  the  eyebrows  sloping  downwards  from  the  centre  of 
the  face  (as  in  classical  sculpture),  and  not  horizontal  or  even 
sloping  upwards,  as  in  many  English  faces,  gave  great  distinction 
to  his  countenance,  and  was  beautifully  repeated  by  the  outline  of 
the  upper  portion  of  the  head.  But  no  photograph  could  ever  re- 
produce what  is  seldom  seen  in  a  grown  man  to  the  extent  it  was  in 
him,  the  rapid  change  of  colour  in  his  face.  I  have  often  seen  him 
blush  with  pleasure  like  a  schoolboy.  This  characteristic,  together 
with  the  unusual  flexibility  of  the  lower  portion  of  the  face,  gave 
a  great  range  of  expression,  and  was,  when  combined  with  a  rich, 
deep,  sonorous  and  often  very  affecting  voice,  a  splendid  outfit  from 
nature  for  such  a  career  as  his  was  to  be. 

He  was  a  very  quick  observer,  with  a  most  delicate  eye  for 
minutiae.  Things  like  the  "tooling"  of  a  well-bound  book,  or 
some  slight  architectural  detail,  or  the  different  forms  of  letters  in 
early  MSS.  were  dear  to  his  very  soul.  In  the  wooden  benches  in 
Wellington  College  Chapel  there  is  a  tiny  line  of  "  dog-tooth " 
moulding  inserted  among  the  plain  lines  which  finish  off  the  backs 
of  the  seats.  I  feel  almost  sure  this  was  his  doing,  it  is  so  exactly 
like  him ;  it  is  a  mere  nothing,  and  yet  gives  a  certain  distinction 
to  the  woodwork.  It  was  this  little  touch  of  distinction  which 
characterised  everything  he  had  to  do  with.  Such  things  as  the 
tone  of  a  bell,  or  even  some  detail  in  dress  or  jewellery  or 
furniture  were  all  matters  to  which  he  was  keenly  alive.  He  was 
an  admirable  draughtsman,  and  had  he  not  been  an  Archbishop 
would  have  made  a  first-class  architect.  As  a  slight  illustration  I 
may  mention  the  design  he  gave  for  a  friend  to  work  on  his  sermon 

case,  the  «P  with  the  Dove  above  it,  and  the  red  and  yellow  tiles, 

with  the  heads  of  saints,  that  he  designed  for  the  dining-room 
fire-place  at  the  Chancery. 

I  have  always  thought  it  curious  that  with  so  much  of  the  artist 
and  critic  in  his  nature,  he  never  quite  did  himself  justice  in  his 
literary  style.  He  was  a  great  admirer  of  Thucydides,  also  of 
George  Herbert,  and  at  one  time  he  was  a  diligent  and  enthusiastic 
student  of  Carlyle.  Certain  it  is  that  while  (even  in  his  private 
letters)  there  are  many  most  felicitous  phrases,  as  a  whole  his  style 
was  more  nervous  than  easy  or  attractive.     However,  it  was  his 

1869-1871     REMINISCENCES— MISS  WORDSWORTH     277 

owfi ;  a  voice  and  not  an  echo.  It  was  himself,  his  own  person- 
ality, that  told  on  others.  He  possessed  in  an  unusual  degree 
that  kind  of  magnetism  which  makes  those  who  are  in  company 
with  its  owner  always  conscious  of  what  he  is  doing,  and  in- 
stinctively disposed  to  follow  his  lead.  (Except  Bishop  Samuel 
Wilberforce,  I  never  knew  a  man  who  possessed  this  quality  to  a 
greater  extent  than  your  father,  but  in  the  Bishop's  case  it  was,  I 
think,  more  consciously  exerted.) 

You  could  not  be  with  him  for  three  minutes  without  feeling  he 
was  no  common  man.  "There's  that  man  Benson  taking  it_^all  in," 
was  the  ejaculation,  in  half-comic,  half-despairing  tones,  of  a  can- 
didate who  had  come  to  Lincoln  for  ordination  and  was  exploring 
the  Cathedral  with  a  party  headed  by  the  future  Archbishop  under 
the  guidance  of  some  habitue  of  the  place.  It  was  this  power  of 
taking  things  in  which  always  struck  you  when  you  were  with  him. 
We  had  a  most  delightful  combination-holiday  once  at  Whitby, 
and  his  intelligent  knowledge  of  the  whole  district  added  greatly  to 
our  pleasure.  I  think  I  can  see  him  now  in  his  old  flannel  coat 
and  black  felt  hat  hammering  away  with  you  and  Martin  for 
geological  specimens  in  the  Whitby  cliffs  (three  ammonite  brooches, 
much  treasured  by  my  sisters  and  myself,  were  a  precious  record 
of  St  Hilda) :  or  carrying  over  his  arm  the  brown  rug  striped  with 
blue,  his  mother's  gift  when  he  went  to  school,  and  settling  down 
for  a  good  read  upon  the  sands. 

Certainly  in  all  that  part  of  Yorkshire  his  foot  was  meta- 
phorically at  least  "on  his  native  heath."  The  long  out-door 
walks  were  good  for  him  physically,  and  there  was  that  background 
of  ecclesiastical  antiquity  typified  in  the  fine  old  Abbey  which 
dominated  the  headland  above  the  fishing  village — alas,  rapidly 
turning  into  a  modern  watering-place ! — which  exactly  suited 
his  mind. 

A  record  of  one  or  two  of  these  Yorkshire  walks  from  a 
journal  kept  at  the  time  may  stand  for  a  specimen  of  many  others. 

Saturday,  Sep.  4,  1869.  Walked  with  Dr  Benson  and  John 
to  Sleights  moor,  close  by  railway.  Splendid  walk  over  sandy 
heather.  Beautiful  distance,  tumuli  and  hills.  Feet  sank  deep 
into  heather,  and  nothing  between  you  and  the  sky.  It  seemed 
a  place  for  extremes  meeting.  Turned  past  a  railway  cutting  to 
the  left.  On  our  right  a  rich  hill  side,  mountain  ash,  I  think,  and 
bracken — a  dell  between.  What  a  wilderness  of  purple  flowers  ! 
and  woods  beyond,  which  we  had  not  time  to  visit. 

278    REMINISCENCES— MISS  WORDSWORTH    aet.  40-42 

Talked  about  Christian  Year.  How  much  of  the  classical 
element.  Dr  Benson  regrets  "  sister  nymph  beside  her  urn '." 
Why  has  Christianity  no  Homer?  Round  by  Littlebeck.  Much 
struck  by  the  windings  of  the  stream  which  we  followed  closely. 
One  grand  beach  overhung  by  cliffs.  Longed  for  a  figure  of 
St  John  the  Baptist  preaching  to  a  group  of  people  beneath  their 
shadow.  Passed  close  to  the  Throstle's  Nest.  Had  a  race  for  the 
train,  quite  needless,  and  after  all  waited  half  an  hour  at  the 
station  discussing  Hymnology.  Dr  Benson  repeating  "  When  I 
survey  &c."     Subjectivity  in   hymns. 

Thursday,  Sep.  9.  Went  up  in  evening  with  Dr  Benson  and 
others  to  finish  sketch  of  dear  old  Abbey,  which  seems  to  have 
been   part  of  ourselves.     Walked  about,  watching  the  beautiful 

sky  behind  the  old    lancet  window.     Presently  and  

joined  us,  and  we  all  walked  about  together  arm  in  arm  saying  the 
Heydour  Psalms  (iv.  and  v.),  the  Magnificat,  and  Psalm  xxiii.  It 
was  an  evening  none  of  us  will,  I  think,  ever  forget.  Walked 
quietly  to  the  gate  of  our  Paradise,  feeling,  as  E.  W.  B.  said, 
"  Resigno  quae  dedit."  Down  the  steps — across  the  harbour  in  a 
ferry  boat.     Some  one  playing  "There's  no  place  like  home." 

Friday,  Sep.  10.  To  Lincoln.  In  afternoon  to  Cathedral, 
E.  W.  B.  with  us ;  beautiful  anthem  of  Hayes,  "  He  maketh  peace 
in  thy  borders."  A  happy  welcome  at  home.  New  dish.  The 
Latidiim  of  Bishop  Alnwick". 

It  was  delightful  to  pass  from  the  picturesque  ruins  of  Whitby 

1  The  allusion  is  to  the  Poem  for  Monday  in  Easter  Week : 

Or  canst  thou  guess  how  far  away 
Some  sister  nymph,  beside  her  urn 
Reclining  night  and  day, 

'Mid  reeds  and  mountain  fern, 
Nurses  her  store  with  thine  to  blend  ? 

2  This  alludes  to  the  fact  that  at  Riseholme,  the  residence  of  the  Bishops 
of  Lincoln,  on  the  visit  described,  a  covered  dish  was  placed  before  my  father 
by  the  Bishop's  orders,  which,  when  the  cover  was  removed,  was  seen  to  contain 
the  original  copy  of  Bishop  Alnwick's  Lazidum,  which  had  just  been  discovered 
in  the  Muniment  Room.  My  father  had  asked  the  Bishop  what  was  the 
Laudmn  of  Alnwick  which  as  Prebendary  he  had  sworn  to  obey.  The  Bishop 
could  not  tell  him,  but  caused  a  search  to  be  instituted  with  successful  results. 
The  Laudum  was  the  written  award  made  by  Bishop  Alnwick  as  arbitrator  (in 
1439)  upon  the  fierce  altercation  between  the  Dean  (Mackworth)  and  the 
Canons  of  Lincoln.  He  afterwards  drew  up  new  statutes  (Novum  Registrum) 
for  the  Cathedral  which  were  never  enforced.     See  p.  326,  note. 

1869-1871     REMINISCENCES— MISS  WORDSWORTH     279 

to  the  living  splendours  of  Lincoln,  in  that  happy  September  of 
1869  which  nearly  closing,  as  it  did,  the  first  year  of  our  father's 
Episcopate,  seems  to  me  as  I  look  back  upon  it,  almost  the 
high-water  mark  of  our  enthusiasm.  I  should  perhaps  say  that 
Dr  Benson's  enthusiasm  for  the  Cathedral  and  City  life,  and  it 
would  be  unfair  not  to  add  for  the  Bishop,  had  a  reflex  action 
upon  ourselves. 

We  viewed  the  life  there  in  the  light  of  his  vivid  and  poetical 
imagination.  I  can  see  now  the  irradiation  of  our  own  dear 
father's  face  at  some  outburst  of  zeal,  assumed  petulance,  and 
humorous  irritation,  or  effusive  and  characteristically  expressed 
gratitude  on  some  occasion  that  awakened  the  easily  roused 
feelings  of  his  chaplain.  When  he  first  appeared  in  his  chaplain's 
scarf  in  the  Chapel  at  Wellington  College  it  was  popularly  sup- 
posed by  the  4th  form  boys  that  Mrs  Benson  had  died  in  the 
night  and  that  he  had  promptly  adopted  this  method  of  going 
into  mourning  for  her.     So  at  least  the  story  runs  {ben  trovato). 

The  following  is  an  extract  from  Miss  Wordsworth's 
Diary  a  little  later : — 

Sunday,  Sep.  2,  187 1.  Wellington  College.  Morning,  all  but 
Mary  to  Sandhurst  Church.  After  dinner  E.  W.  B.  read  Ftlgrijn's 
Progress  to  us  and  the  children  out  in  the  garden.  Evening, 
walked  to  Sandhurst  Church  and  back.  Father  and  E.  W.  B. 
talked  on  classical  subjects.  Aeneas  leaving  Creusa  (k  propos  of 
my  mother  dropping  behind  and  telling  them  not  to  wait  for  her  !), 
her  appearance  to  her  husband  afterwards,  and  saying  he  had  been 
quite  right — subjection  of  women  in  heathen  times — the  good  laws 
of  Augustus  Caesar  concerning  marriage  &c.  preparing  the  way  for 
Christianity — the  extraordinary  change  in  the  character  of  Tiberius 
— beginning  so  well — -to  be  traced  (E.  W.  B.  suggested)  from  the 
time  of  his  enforced  divorce  from  his  wife  and  marriage  with  his 
wicked  niece  Julia,  after  which  he  lived  in  a  kind  of  voluntary 
exile,  and  emerged  from  it  like  a  madman. 

To  Miss   Wordsworth. 

Master's  Lodge,  Wellington  College 
St  Michael  and  All  Angels,  1869. 

My  dear  Elizabeth, 

Don't  think  me  ungrateful  for  a  letter  for  which  I  was 
impelled  to  write  off  a  thousand  thanks  that  minute.     But  I'm 

2 So  LETTER   TO    MISS   WORDSWORTH     aet.  40-42 

really  delightfully  busy.  It  would  do  your  heart  good  to  see  how 
good  tempered  the  Pickering  Moors'  have  made  me  in  spite  of 
neuralgia.  I  have  seen  1 7  people  in  the  way  of  interviews  since 
12  o'clock,  and  I  assure  you  I'm  not  discomposed.  It's  amusing 
to  tell  you  what  a  heap  of  work  has  to  be  done,  but  it  will  not  be 
at  all  amusing  if  you  take  that  to  mean  that  I  am  too  busy  to 
delight  in  letters.  The  expectation  of  letters  from  you  has  changed 
my  views  with  regard  to  the  post,  and  the  wondering  Porter  (whose 
crimson  countenance  is  so  badly  matched  with  his  scarlet  waistcoat 
that  if  Mary  saw  it,  it  would  put  her  at  once  out  of  conceit  with 
my  hood — would  it  be  right  to  dismiss  on  that  account  an  other- 
wise satisfactory  man  ?  I  wish  you  would  tell  me) — well,  he 
wonders  to  behold  me  about  Post  time  advancing  to  meet  him, 
instead  of  disappearing  round  the  Chapel  at  his  approach. 

9  p.m.  There  is  the  most  beautiful  sheet  lightning  flashing 
every  instant  in  the  North  as  we  come  in  from  Chapel.  It  is  the 
flashing  of  Michael's  sword. 

.  .  .  I  seem  to  see  Wellington  College  400  years  hence,  a 
graceful  ruin  with  a  happy  party  spelling  out  the  E.  .  .  and  the 
W.  .  .  and  the  B.  ,  .  and  the  M  .  .  .  gister  of  an  old  stone  in  the 
day  when  parents  having  recognised  their  own  duties  to  their 
children,  marvel  that  ever  they  could  have  been  sent  to  herd  in 
the  masses  of  a  public  school,  and  then  they  will  vilify  those  who 
strove  to  inspire  and  purify  them,  as  some  dear  friends  of  mine  are 
content  to  accept  the  tales  of  enemies  about  the  old  men"  who  kept 
society  sweeter  until  very  near  the  end,  when  society's  own  evils 
burst  in  upon  them. 

But  oh,  what  sorrow  it  is  to  think  that  Lincoln  and  Lichfield 
and  Winchester  and  all  the  rest  may  pass  out  of  our  hands  with  all 
their  capacities  undeveloped  !  .  .  .  You  will  all  shudder  at  the 
Post-bag,  as  I  did  at  Whitby.  But  it  is  all  your  faults  :  I  never 
talked  so  long  in  my  life  as  I  did  about  Cyprian  that  night,  and 
never  wrote  such  letters  before,  so  your  fault  it  must  be. 

^  Near  Whitby.  -  I.e.  the  monks. 


"  The  milky  way,  the  bird  of  Paradise, 
Church  bells  beyond  the  stars  heard,  the  souVs  blood, 
The  land  of  spices,  soniethiiig  understood.'" 

Geo.  Herbert. 

I  WILL  here  give  two  or  three  specimens  of  his  literary- 
style  at  this  period,  both  in  prose  and  verse ;  they  reveal 
his  mind  very  clearly,  both  its  strength  and  weakness — 
the  rare  beauty,  fervency  and  originality  of  his  thoughts, 
and  the  over-elaboration  and  quaintness  of  diction  that 
obscure  the  lucidity  of  the  thought,  and  divert  instead 
of  concentrating  attention.  The  first  is  a  mystical  dis- 
course on  a  verse  of  Scripture,  written  on  St  Cyprian's 
Day  (26th  Sep.)  1869,  apparently  at  the  end  of  the 
Summer  Holidays,  and  addressed  to  three  of  the  Miss 
Wordsworths.     It  has  never  been  published.     Its  quaint 

mediaeval  title  is — 

"  Concio 

habita  in  spiritu 


Tres  Sorores  de  Prato  Resurrectionis  (Riseholme) 

Die  Dom. 

Natali  autem  S.  Cypriani 

A.D.    1869. 

Habuit  Macarophylax  Albius  Benedict!  F." 

[A  speech  made  in  the  Spirit  to  the  three  sisters 
of  Riseholme,  on  the  Lord's  Day,  also  the  birthday 
of  St  Cyprian,  a.d.  1869.  Edward  White  Benson 
made  it.] 

282  THE   CONCIO 

AET.  40 

And  especially  worthy  of  note  is  the  passage  which  deals 
with  the  death  of  saints,  which  seems  to  foreshadow  in  a 
way  that  is  almost  prophetic,  the  manner  of  his  own  death, 
and  the  holy  influences  thus  withdrawn  from  the  Church. 

S.  Marc.  vi.  31. 

Venite  seorsum  in  desertum  locum  et  requiescite  pusillum. 

"Come  ye  yourselves  apart  into  a  desert  place  and  rest  awhile." 


Dilectissimae  sorores — we  are  met  together  to-day  in  spirit  not 
in  flesh,  being  absent  in  body  not  in  heart,  and  therein  I  preach 
to  you,  even  while  you,  in  this  my  heart,  do  make  music  sweeter 
than  organs  to  the  glory  and  praise  of  God. 

And  my  pulpit  hath  twelve  sides,  being  none  other  than  the 
garden  table  whereat  I  write  on  the  lawn ;  and  the  sun  westering, 
doth  smite  the  right  cheek  of  my  face.  Whereby  I  find  that  I 
must  work  while  it  is  called  to-day,  because  of  the  evening  of  night 
wherein  no  man  can  write  or  work — also  the  twelve-sided  table 
mindeth  me  that  this  sermon  must  be  truly  apostolic,  writ  on  the 
very  figure  of  the  Holy  College. 

Dearly  beloved  sisters — It  was  "Venite  seorsum"  that  Christ 
said.  After  a  while  he  said,  "Exite  foras."  But  this  time, 
"Venite  seorsum."  Another  time  he  sent  them  through  all  the 
cities  of  Israel,  but  this  time  it  was  "Requiescite  pusillum." 

Yet  surely  one  would  have  said  that  God's  work  was  already 
standing  still  too  much,  when  John  Baptist  was  laid  in  his  grave. 
His  disciples  came  and  told  Jesus,  and  would  not  a  man  have 
thought  that  now  was  the  time  for  one  greater  than  John  Baptist 
to  step  into  his  place,  and  from  his  place  into  a  higher,  until  he 
had  revealed  Himself?  Or  if  in  the  secret  counsel  of  God  that 
hour  was  not  yet  come,  will  He  not  send  one  of  the  Twelve,  a 
Peter  or  a  John,  to  take  up  the  work — to  "  penetrate  the  masses  " 
yet  more  with  the  call  to  Penance ;  to  lift  them  by  one  or  two 
simple  ideas  well-grasped  and  made  their  own  to  higher  ways, 
whence  they  might  lift  their  eyes  again  above  their  fallen  estate, 
and  seek  a  better  peace  with  God  than  had  of  late  been  theirs. 

"Venite  in  desertum  locum" — the  teaching  of  nature— God's 

i869  VENITE   SEORSUM  283 

speech  read  in  the  beauty  of  the  wilderness — this  is  to  be  their 
immediate  teaching  and  their  abiding  strength.  Not  Nature 
alone,  but  nature  in  the  presence  of  Jesus  Christ.  Nature  alone 
is  oft  too  weak  to  heal  us,  too  weak  to  teach — too  oft  in  her 
glorious  beauty  she  is  even  our  temptress.  But  nature  in  the 
presence  of  Jesus  is  strong  indeed ;  and  we  too  ourselves  have 
wondered,  and  have  spoken  of  our  wonder,  that  the  purple  of  the 
moors  and  twilight  on  the  river  while  the  northern  sea  lay  all 
gold,  and  the  living  beauty  of  stately  trees  and  waving  branches, 
should  have  such  power  to  make  us  forget  the  world's  trouble  or 
labour,  and  send  us  home  stronger  at  evening  than  when  we  arose 
in  the  morning.  It  was  because  Jesus  Himself  drew  near  and 
went  with  us,  and  talked  with  us  by  the  way,  for  His  speech  has 
power  to  penetrate  not  the  ear  only  but  every  organ  which  He 
hath  made  :  He  made  the  channels  and  He  sends  out  the  streams 
that  fill  them. 

He  that  walked  in  the  heat  of  the  day  in  the  garden  which 
He  had  made  for  the  man  to  love.  He  Himself,  beloved  sisters, 
hath  wished  that  we  should  spiritually  discern  things  which  the 
holy  birds,  and  the  innocent  things  that  dwell  among  them, 
know  not. 

For  as  well  as  the  teaching  of  Nature  under  His  presence, 
they  had  too  the  conversation  of  friends.  The  companionship 
(dearest  of  all  things  that  God  gives  on  earth)  of  those  who  loved 
the  great  past,  who  hoped  for  a  greater  future — who  amid  the 
immediate  wreck  had  eyes  yet  to  see  that  the  great  fragments 
were  not  to  perish  for  ever;  that  the  bare  gable  and  the  stately 
buttress  might  be  framed  into  yet  statelier  homes  than  of  old, 
so  as  for  the  spirit  of  man  to  be  hallowed  and  grow  great  again, 
and  for  the  suffering  of  the  world  to  be  healed,  and  for  the  outcast 
poor  to  have  the  Gospel  preached  to  them. 

Here  was  their  healing — and  under  so  great  a  calamity — here 
was  their  education  as  their  thoughts  grew  peaceful  again  and 
turned  once  more  from  the  past  to  the  future. 

Venite  seorsum — the  bidding,  while  all  obeyed  it — woke 
dififerent  feelings  in  different  hearts.  Some  perhaps  understood 
it  as  He  meant  it — other  some  would  be  only  too  willing  to  hide 
their  sorrows — yes,  and  perhaps  their  despair  of  an  age  which 
unconcerned  saw  so  much  go  down  that  was  true  and  good  ;  and 
of  a  society  whose  regenerators  were  thus  marked  for  early  doom — 
but  some  perhaps  in  their  sense  of  strength  unused,  and  courage 

284  REQUIESCITE    PUSILLUM  aet.  40 

unbroken,  thought — (or  would  have  thought  but  that  they  trusted 
Him) — that  they  were  wasting  time,  that  they  needed  none  of  this 
teaching  of  Nature— that  they  had  learnt  all  that  intercourse  with 
friends  could  teach  them — that,  even  as  to  their  association  with 
Christ  Himself,  the  times  pointed  them  rather  onward  to  use  what 
they  had  learnt  already,  than  still  to  linger  even  in  His  sacred 

However,  the  choice  was  not  theirs  but  His — He  bade  them 
"  requiescite  pusillum  " — and  they  rested. 

And  so  again  do  they  lie  down  to  Rest,  just  when  it  seems 
as  if  the  world's  need  and  the  Church's  is  the  sorest,  who 
after  long  lives  of  keen  experience  enter  on  silent  years  of 
incapacity',  and  pass  away  from  the  hearts  of  men  more  than 
if  they  died — and  they  too  who,  touched  more  gently,  actually 
pass  away**  to  sleep  in  the  dust  when  their  knowledge  is  fullest, 
their  spirit  clearest, — yes,  and  their  hearts  gentlest  and  the  spell 
of  their  presence  and  their  words  most  potent. 

The  later  age  of  some  of  God's  servants  seems  to  attain  to 
such  fulness  of  wisdom  and  sagacity  ;  the  impetuousness  of  youth 
gone,  yet  its  courage  and  its  fire  remaining,  its  intellectual 
brightness  as  fiery  keen  as  ever,  its  loves  more  true,  more 
tender,— the  inexperience  to  which  conquests  once  seemed  easy 
has  been  succeeded  by  an  experience  which  sees  in  multiplying 
difficulties  only  multiplying  hopes,  yet  knows  that  each  difficulty 
is  a  fort  impregnably  held  for  the  enemy  unless  the  one  access  to 
the  citadel  is  found :  once  they  were  overburdened  with  grief  at 
the  failure  of  attempts  which  they  knew  to  be  in  a  holy  cause,  and 
even  yet  can  scarce  think  ill-directed ;  now  they  are  upheld  by  a 
faith  which  knows  that  the  science  of  attack  on  Satan's  fortresses 
is  in  advance — be  it  ever  so  little — of  the  skill  with  which  they 
are  defended :  their  ancient  eagerness  is  all  there,  yet  it  is  an 
eagerness  entrenched  in  quietude.  And  now  the  moment  is  come 
for  some  decisive  movement — who  is  so  fit  as  those  venerable 
saints  to  head  it  ?  Yet  in  that  very  hour — to  the  baffling  of  our 
intelligence — the  wisdom  of  God  sees  the  moment  for  withdrawing 
them.    "Venite  seorsum"  is  breathed  in  their  ears ;  "et  Requiescite 

1  Henry  Philpotts,  Bp  of  Exeter  from  1831  to  1869.  He  last  addressed 
the  House  of  Lords  in  July,  1863,  but  was  compelled  from  feebleness  to  speak 
sitting.  His  last  act  was  on  Sep.  9,  1869,  to  execute  the  resignation  of  his  See, 
which  did  not  take  effect  as  he  died  on  Sep.  18. 

"  Bp  Hamilton  of  Salisbury,  d.  Aug.  i,  1869. 

i869  THE    REST   OF   GOD  285 

pusillum":  the  osculum  Dei  kisses  their  spirit  from  their  Hps. 
The  battle  goes  on  while  the  heroes  are  parted  from  it,  and 
while  their  guiding  hand  is  wanted  most  they  are  already  on 
their  way  "in  desertum  locum" — to  a  fair  lone  place  where  they 
find  Christ  and  the  Apostles  sitting  still,  as  once  beside  the 
Galilean  Lake,  pausing  "awhile"  till  the  hour  of  their  recom- 
mencing work  comes  round  again. 

And  bethink  you  of  the  Apostles'  Rest — was  not  the  Feeding 
of  the  Five  Thousand  their  next  day's  work  ?  Christ's  own  widest 
miracle — their  own  most  blessed  ministry  to  the  poor  and  faint 
and  weary.  In  all  other  miracles  they  were  but  devout  reflective 
watchers — in  this  they  were  happy  partakers  as  full  of  activity  as 
the  day  before  they  were  full  of  rest. 

And  bethink  you  again  of  the  Rest  and  Repose  of  the  Faithful 
Departed.  Who  can  tell  the  calm  glory  of  that  Rest  ?  The  joy 
of  the  contemplation  of  the  Face  and  Word  of  Christ,  who  is  the 
unsetting  Sun  of  Paradise — but,  beloved,  if  it  pass  our  utmost 
thought  to  conceive  of  the  perfectness  of  the  Rest,  what  shall  we 
look  for  as  the  Work  that  shall  flow  out  of  that  same  Rest  ? 
When  once  the  Lord  riseth,  and  calls  men  about  him  and  goes 
forth,  what  think  ye  will  be  the  infinite  work  for  which  that  rest 
is  now  preparing  them  ? 

If  the  sleep  of  the  Dead  be  so  blessed  in  vision  and  in 
knowledge,  what  shall  Life  from  the  Dead  be  ? 

Let  us  beware  lest  we  misname  or  misapprehend  any  appointed 
Rest.  Let  us  no  more  yearn  for  present  employment  when  God's 
providence  bids  us  "  be  still "  than  we  would  think  it  good  to 
yearn  after  cessation  while  God  bids  work.  Shall  we  not  miss 
a  blessing  if  we  call  Rest  a  weariness  and  a  discontent,  no  less 
than  if  we  called  God's  work  a  thankless  labour?  If  we  would 
be  holy  in  body  and  spirit  shall  we  not  keep  smooth  brow,  light 
heart,  whether  he  bids  us  serve  his  table,  or  wait  our  summons  ? 
To  turn  a  new  page  in  Nature's  Book  is  a  worthy  pastime,  say 
rather  it  is  a  new  way  of  hallowing  the  Revealed  Name  of  God  : 
to  intercede  for  those  who  have  no  time,  or  who  have  hearts  too 
anxious  and  too  pressed  to  pray  effectually  ;  to  learn  the  great 
ways  whereby  old  states  of  society  were  wrought  into  the  substance 
of  God's  kingdom :  to  weigh  well  if  there  be  remedies  yet  unfound 
which  shall  meet  the  strain  of  our  society  to-day :  to  know  the 
principles,  to  scan  the  aims,  the  means,  the  steps  of  the  saints  ; 
to  lay  aside  all  that  can  hinder  us  from  union,  that  can  weaken 

286  ST   CYPRIAN  aet.  40 

our  own  hands  when  the  call  comes  (as  it  will  come  surely), 
these  things  are  not  the  hasty  preparations  of  an  hour  before 
midnight.  They  demand  thought;  they  demand  loving  gentle 
speech,  patient  of  difference,  keen  to  stimulate ;  they  demand 
cheerful  discoveries  of  God's  goodness  to  our  souls ;  they  are 
things  which  cannot  be  inwrought  but  by  those  who  will  stand 
in  sunny  places  till  the  Warmth  of  the  Light  of  the  Visage  of 
Him  who  is  Risen  pierces  every  cold  shadow.  The  life  of  one 
man  is  very  short ;  the  life  of  a  worthy  society  is  endless,  for  it 
passes  on  and  works  in  one  spirit  while  its  members  are  withdrawn 
from  it  one  by  one.  How  shall  the  efforts  of  men  be  gathered 
up  together  once  more  as  in  the  societies  of  old,  so  that  Christian 
Lives  shall  not  be  golden  grains  sweeping  down  amid  the  river 
sand,  but  be  gathered  and  wrought  into  an  armlet  for  our  King, 
and  rest  as  a  sceptre  in  His  Hand,  as  a  crown  upon  His  Head  ! 

The  saints  of  God  are  jewels,  but  in  this  day  they  have  no 
setting.  It  is  worth  your  thinking  of,  O  beloved  maidens,  as  it 
is  worthy  of  all  men's  thinking ;  even  though  we  none  of  us  shall 
ever  have  part  (it  may  be)  in  the  working  out,  yet  the  more  they 
be  that  will  give  their  hearts  to  it,  and  talk  of  it  by  the  way,  the 
sooner  will  they  whom  God  shall  call  be  able  to  begin,  and 
the  readier  will  they  find  the  soil  for  the  sowing. 

To  trace  the  old  paths  :  to  understand  the  present :  to  talk 
of  the  future :  these  methinks  were  things  whereof  the  Five  Wise 
Virgins  spake,  what  time  they  watched  the  Lamps  burning  till 
the  Bridegroom  came.  They  waited  and  they  wearied  not,  albeit 
there  was  so  little  for  them  to  do. 

St  Cyprian  now  prayeth  ever  that  work  begun  in  Carthage 
may  have  fruit  in  England,  and  over  all  the  earth — and  we  will 
pray  with  him.  Perchance  in  the  mind  of  God  he  seeth  us 
praying,  and  loveth  us  in  his  Lord.  But  be  it  so,  or  be  it  not  so, 
we  pray  with  you  as  you  with  us ;  pray  ever  that  the  work  of 
your  father,  your  brother,  and  of  me  unworthy  whom  ye  have 
honoured  with  such  a  name,  may  be  work  that  shall  endure 
when  all  that  is  built  on  the  Foundation  shall  be  tried  with  Fire. 

I  bare  you  in  my  spirit — because  ye  desired  me — this  day 
before  the  Altar  of  God,  while  the  Blessed  Gifts  lay  thereupon ; 
yea,  I  bare  you  all,  I  forgat  not  one  that  belongeth  unto  you :  I 
made  mention  of  you  while  I  made  mention  of  St  Cyprian,  and 
of  the  Church  of  Lincoln,  and  of  mine  own  house,  and  of  the 
God-taught  youths  whom  our  Master  hath  appointed  me  to  feed. 

i869  THE   CONCIO  287 

Behold,  He  hath  sent  me  unto  you  for  my  peace,  and  because 
He  saw  that  my  wife  and  I  lacked  hearts  of  peace  and  faith  to 
commune  with  us  and  hold  us  to  His  side.  Therefore  I  give 
thanks  for  you  all,  beloved  sisters,  and  pray  ever  that  He  bless 
continually  them  whom  He  hath  made  so  good  to  me  and  her, 
even  while  He  called  some  from  the  earth  who  had  loved  and 
cherished  us  hitherto — that  He  bless  you  and  perfect  you  and  all 
yours  and  your  Mother  and  Father  and  mine  in  the  Lord  Jesus. 

Explicit  concio  circa  mesonyctium. 

To  Miss  S.    Wordsworth,  on  the  "  Concio!^ 

Well.  Coll. 
Nov.  29,  1869. 

It  is  so  pleasant — it  would  be  affectation  not  to  say  so — to 
hear  that  Miss  Frere '  cared  for  the  Concio.  I  must  only  say  that 
when  I  turned  over  the  leaves  of  your  copy  of  it  I  did  wish  I  had 
spent  more  time  on  it — and  what  a  happy  coincidence  (to  me)  of 
Miss  Frere's  having  written  on  the  text  herself.  There  was  a 
kind  of  prophetic  tenderness  about  the  lines,  as  if  a  sense  were 
present  while  they  were  written — only  half  conscious — of  that  not 
being  the  only  rest  which  God  forces  on  us  sometimes.  Don't 
you  fancy  that  the  end  of  Rest  being  Refreshment  (even  of  rest 
which  we  unwillingly  take,  when  we  are  forced  to  sit  still  and 
wait,  and  seem  to  see  the  sun  going  down,  and  our  work  spending 
itself),  while  for  some,  hard  work  and  business  goes  on  increasing 
till  the  end  of  life,  so  that  they  may  rest  at  once  when  it  is 
over — so  for  others  who  are  forced  to  rest  before  they  die,  death 
is  the  instant  beginning  of  their  new  activity?  There  must  be 
some  wanted  to  begin  the  work  of  business  of  the  new  life  before 
all  the  multitudes  begin  to  be  engrossed  in  it.  Those  whose  Rest 
is  here  are  perhaps  marked  as  the  pioneers  there.  This  is  all  very 
drearily  expressed — I  haven't  concentration  to  write  three  stanzas 
about  it,  and  so  my  meaning  suffers. 

How  good  of  you  to  speak  of  writing  out  Cyprian  as  an  enjoy- 
ment— that  part  is  so  dreadfully  dull,  that  if  you  are  not  crushed 
by  it,  I  really  shall  feel  scarcely  any  scruple  about  the  more 
entertaining  part. 

Your  ever  loving, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

^  Sister  of  Mrs  Wordsworth,  and  at  that  time  a  great  invalid. 

288  POEMS— MITHRAS  aet.  40 

The  next  specimen  is  a  poem  written  on  the  summer 
holiday  at  Whitby  in  1869.  There  was  a  stone  with  a 
Roman  inscription  built  into  a  wall  at  Julian  Park  near 
Goathland,  a  wild  moor  village  among  many  tumuli  and 
signs  of  Roman  and  British  habitation,  which  they  made 
an  expedition  to  see.  The  MS.  has  a  sketch  at  the  top, 
not  very  artistic,  of  the  stone. 

E  L(egione)  Vl(sexta)  Vi(ctrici)  L(quinquaginta)  V(exillarii) 


"  Even  select  troops  of  hostile  barbarians  were  frequently 
compelled  to  consume  their  dangerous  valour  in  remote  climates 
and  for  the  benefit  of  the  state."  Gibbon,  Ch.  I. 

Found  it  at  last  along  the  dree  stone  wall ! 
A  stone  of  stones !   a  Cephas  to  the  rest ! 
And  the  bruised  bracken  'plains  of  pilgrimage 
Ruder  than  ours  who  would  have  let  it  wave 
To  shade  with  tender  green  the  grey-head  thing. 

How  faint  the  lines  !     And  each  disjointed  curve 
Not  curved,  but  dragged  with  straight  and  angular  score — 
No  mason  hand  !    no  mason  weapon  here ! 
A  dagger  point  it  might  be,  and  a  flint 
To  rub  the  chipping  smooth,  and  groove  it  more. 
— A  dagger  point ;— and  here  he  sate  who  worked 
The  iron  pen — sate  sideways — so  the  line 
Of  letters  from  the  right  initial  droops. 
"  Keeper !    it  was  a  Roman  made  these  words, 
Was't  not?     How  say  you  down  in  Julian  Park?" 
"  Ay,  Sir !   and  wants  a  Roman  back  to  read  them — 
Never  saw  any  man  could  read  them  else. 
But  there  were  plenty  Romans  once  awhile 
In  Julian  Park.     We  found  their  Church  one  day 
Down  in  the  gorse — censer  and  broken  cross — 
The  parson  treasures  them. — Aye  !   they  were  Romans." 

"And  are  the  grouse  plentiful  on  the  moor? 
I  saw  a  black-cock  yesterday" — 

"They're  rare. 
The  black  game.     And  the  grouse  are  still  but  poor — 
Ne'er  looked  up  since  the  pest — two  years  agone." 

i869  POEMS— MITHRAS  289 

Then  fell  the  weirdness  that  still  comes  betimes 
When,  after  earnest  talk,  I  fall  to  talk 
For  talking's  sake,  because  I  am  too  wise 
For  them  that  know  a  little  less  than  I. 

So  with  a  shiver  I  felt  it  coming  on  : 
I  grew  to  be  the  keeper.     Then  I  grew 
A  thousand  years  old — cold  and  fatuous. 
And  watched  myself,  a-stroking  of  the  stone, 
And  turning  to  a  Roman. 
Is  this  a  Roman  ?    this  fine  nostril  ?   eyes 
A-glitter,  cheeks  aflame — fire  under  ash. 
Ash  palely  strewn  'neath  skin  of  tawny  silk — ? 
Womanish  chin  ?     These  long-lashed  lids  ?   those  hands 
So  thin,  so  long,  wrought  in  transparent  bronze — 
That  clutch,  that  twitch  the  dagger  up  and  down. 
Filing  white  dust  out  of  the  lichenous  rock? 

This  is  not  one  hath  tugged  the  she-wolfs  dugs ; 
Child  of  some  captive  race — race  prone  to  die — 
Race  long  out-worn,  and  beautiful  in  decay, — 
Rent  from  the  East  to  watch  the  lowering  West. 
For  so  these  giant  Romans  hurled  the  world. 
And  bade  the  nations  keep  each  other  down. 

"  Mithra  !    farewell — thou  canst  not  shine  ! 
This  land  of  mist  it  is  not  thine. 
I  worship  now  a  worthier  shrine — 
I  worship  Jove  Capitoline. 

"Thou  canst  not  give  me  back  the  life 
I  pledged — thy  Priest — ere  days  of  strife. 
I  feel  thee : — for  my  soul  is  drawn 
All  aching  to  the  land  of  dawn. 

"Yet  thou  no  more  shalt  rule  my  will, 
Though  thy  slack  leash  torment  me  still. 
I  serve  who  smites,  or  sun  or  shade, 
And  scorn  the  gods  that  cannot  aid. 

"  And  you,  my  friends,  the  Forty-Nine 
Whose  helmets  gild  yon  purple  line 
One  moment,  as  ye  round  the  swell 
Of  that  broad-bosomed  heaving  fell, 

B.  I.  19 

290  POEMS— MITHRAS  aet.  40 

"  I  could  not,  would  not  march  with  you, — 
This  paltry  life  just  oozing  through — 
These  gentle  folk,  tho'  full  of  guile 
Will  shelter  me,  for  my  brief  while. 

"They  call'd  you  home  across  the  brine — 
The  Prince  and  Jove  Capitoline ; 
And  year  by  year  our  camp  of  turf 
Must  melt  into  this  peaty  scurf. 

"Then  who  will  know  how  stout  a  line 
We  muster'd  round  our  crimson  Sign? 
Our  Fifty  Men  who  held  the  land 
Quiet  from  here  to  Dunum  sand ; 

"  Our  Fifty  Men  !     Death  comes  apace. 
My  dirk  and  he  run  out  the  race — 
But  I  will  mark  our  Fifty's  pride 
Ere  in  my  wrist  he  stems  the  tide. 

"Twenty  adored  the  Libyan  sun — 
Twenty  the  Persian — I  was  one. 
And  Ten  were  of  the  Royal  line 
That  worships  Jove  Capitoline. 

"Fresh  Fifties  from  the  Victrix  sent 
For  forty  summers  came  and  went — 
But  we  have  been  five  years  away, 
And  I  the  first  shall  die  to-day. 

"  God  knows  how  valiantly  we  wrought : 
Blithely  we  hunted,  blithlier  fought ; 
And  blithely  earned  the  thankful  smile 
Of  this  poor  people  full  of  guile. 

"  Ah,  Death  !    you  come — but  it  is  writ, 
'  Victrix '  and  '  Fifty  '  every  whit. 
'Twill  take  a  thousand  years  of  rain 
To  wash  this  boulder  smooth  again. 

"  Now  have  me,  Death  !    nor  more  ado  : — 
But,  Death,  where  will  you  take  me  to? 
To  gods  who  smite  or  sun  or  shade, 
Or  back  to  him  who  cannot  aid? 

"When  from  the  heather-bloom  below 
A  mist  upon  the  mists  I  go — 
To  the  bright  Mithras  of  my  line. 
Or  up  to  Jove  Capitoline?" 

1869-1872  LYRICS  291 

The  dreadful  burden  of  his  careless  song — 
The  aweful  earnest  of  his  careful  strokes — 
Rang  in  mine  ears,  while  from  the  heather-bloom 
He  passed,  and  I  was  sitting  where  he  sate, — 
Keeper  beside. 

Joannes'  took  my  arm, 
And  click'd  my  note-book  and  his  own — and  soft 
With  searching  eyes  drew  me  across  the  bent. 
I  dared  not  ask,  I  know  not  till  this  hour. 
Whether  he  saw  the  double  change  or  no — 
Wrapt  in  the  sketch,  or  gazing  o'er  its  edge. 

But  still  I  yearn'd  tow'rd  Jove  Capitoline  ;— 
When  two  fair  sisters — Pre  St  Anastase" — 
Beckoned  us  on  because  the  sun  was  low — 
Clad  were  they  in  pale  blue — and  on  their  arms 
The  scarlet  under  which  still  sleeps  the  white 
Wherein  arrayed  they  prayed  the  Dove  descend. 

The  following  lyric  was  written  at  Wellington  College : 
I  do  not  know  to  what  it  alludes. 

Just  Lord,  when  I  have  done  a  wretched  right, 
And  good  men  think  to  do  a  merciful  wrong 

Correcting  me,  let  fall  a  cold  clear  light 

Between  us.     Make  them  wise  and  make  me  strong. 

"Justice  thou  may'st  not  wrest  favouring  the  poor." 
O  grievous,  gracious  rule,  who  then  may  live? 

Yet  better  die  upon  this  purple  moor 

Sooner  than  rase  the  line  thy  fingers  give. 

E.  W.  B.     Feb.   1872. 

The  following  lyric  belongs  to  early  Wellington  College 
days : 

Cum  me  Tenent. 

When  this  vain  world's  deceitful  show 

My  heart  enchanted  keeps, 
Then  one  who  walks  with  me  below, 

My  guardian  Angel,  weeps. 

1  John  Wordsworth.  ^  Risehohne. 

19 2 

292  LYRICS  AET,  39-43 

But  when  with  tears  my  tale  of  sin, 

On  bended  knees  I  tell, 
Joy  springs  the  Angel's  heart  within, 

Who  loveth  me  so  well. 

Farewell  then  joy  whose  fruit  is  pain, 

Spring  in  mine  eyes,  sweet  tears, 
Spring  ever  fresh  and  fall  like  rain, 

To  weep  my  sin-stained  years. 

That  in  the  heavens  my  woful  mirth 

May  wake  no  wailing  voice, 
But  to  behold  me  wean'd  from  earth 

The  Sons  of  God  rejoice. 

E.  W.  B. 

The  following  lyrics  were  written  in  the  later  Welling- 
ton College  days : 

Half  Truths. 

The  Edge  of  the  Wood. 
Vox  pavitantis'. 

Sweet  lives  about  my  footsteps  lie 

As  white  as  this  fresh  fallen  snow. 
Nor  those  pine  columns  climb  more  high 

Nor  redden  to  a  heavenlier  glow 
Than  lives  of  friends  that  o'er  me  tower. 
My  summer  shade,  my  winter  bower. 

But  how  the  shadows  throng  behind  ! 

Are  there  such  shadows  on  their  days? 
Those  ghostly  lights  that  flit  and  find 

Cross  lights,  gross  glooms  in  vexing  maze ! 
And  what  that  formless  thing  below? — 
And — Christ ! — those  footprints  in  the  snow ! 

Vox  Paracliti. 

Ah !  pinfold  heart — looplighted  soul, 

^Vho,  pleased  with  half  a  parable, 
And  rebel  still  against  the  whole 

Would'st  learn  my  lesson,  but  not  well, — 

^  The  voice  of  one  who  is  in  dread. 

1868-1872  LYRICS  293 

Are  not  my  shadows  lovely  too? 

And  was  it  not  my  Hind  ran  through?* 

Those  formless  tufts? — Go  near  and  say 

"This  is  a  sorrow  buried  fair" — 
The  dusty  brown,  the  dusky  gray 

Shall  purple  forth  in  heath-bells  rare ; 
In  countless  bells  of  still  perfume 
And  waxen  delicacy  bloom. 

*  Which  is  a  hard  place  of  Benedicti.  But  I  say  that  the  Hind  whose  slot 
scared  him  in  the  sjiow  was  "  the  Hind  of  the  Alorning  "  or  as  it  were  Aijeleth 
Shahar,  and  he  knew  it  not.     Note  by  the  author. 

Vox  Languentis. 

True  Light !     Though  I  have  built  too  low, 

And  cannot  catch  Thine  orbed  sun ; 
That  heaven  is  bright  with  Thee  I  know, 

And  Thy  clear  dawning  is  begun. 
Dawning  so  clear  that  I  can  tell 

How  trends  the  shore,  how  fall  the  rills. 
Where  glooms  the  angel-haunted  dell 

And  forms  of  the  eternal  hills. 

Dear  Warmth !    I  chose  me  lands  of  snow — 

And,  while  I  linger  on  my  knees, 
My  folded  hands  to  marble  grow, 

And  all  my  genial  currents  freeze  \ 
And  yet  I  think  this  is  not  death 

Because  I  feel  the  cold  so  keen : 
The  very  snowdrifts  underneath 

Keep  warm  perhaps  a  living  green. 

Great  Strength !    but  I  have  none  of  Thee. 

I  see — I  feel — but  cannot  rise. 
And  weak  ones  call  for  help  to  me — 

O  agony  of  agonies ! 
How  canst  Thou  bear  my  upturned  eyes  ? 

This  breath  too  weak  to  break  in  wail? 
Would  I  not  serve  Thee  could  I  rise? 

Or  give  me  strength — or  draw  the  veil. 

294  LYRICS  AET,  39-43 

The  following  poem  is  an  answer  to  the  preceding. 

Vox  Paracliti. 

And  said  I  that  thy  strength  should  be 

A  glorious  might  with  might  to  spare? 
Which  dashed  to  earth  despairingly 

Would  but  rebound  to  do  and  dare? 
So  shouldst  thou  chide  Me,  O  My  son, 

And  I  with  thee  not  once  would  chide. 
Yet  lie  thou  still — I  whisper  on — 

And  all  My  love  I  will  not  hide. 
As  wine  of  heaven  in  myrrhine  bowl ; 

As  dying  love  in  whispers  breathed ; 
So  is  My  keenness  in  thy  soul, 

All  might  in  thinnest  frailty  sheathed. 
The  myrrhine  will  not  break :    the  air 

Trembles — the  ageless  word  is  said  : — 
And  thou  art  not  too  weak  to  dare  : 

Flow,  Heart !   thy  fountain  shall  be  fed. 
Though  thou  for  utter  faintness  pine. 

Shrink  from  all  tasks  and  fear  all  pain : 
Once  put  thy  hand  to  work  of  Mine, — 

'Tis  wrought — and  thou  hast  borne  the  strain. 
Then  Who  was  with  thee  all  along 

New  summer,  springing  lights  reveal. 
Trust  Me — I  said  thou  shouldst  be  strong, 

I  said  that  thou  shouldst  be,  not  feel. 

A  remembrance  of  Easier  Eve  in  Rugby   Chapel,   1868. 

The  following  is  an  elaborate  poenn  in  the  style  of 
George  Herbert.  It  is  adorned  with  a  careful  sketch  of 
a  crowned  heart,  surmounted  by  a  cross,  and  encircled 
at  the  base  with  a  ring  of  tiles. 


A  Quip. 

Of  late  I  got  a  pacquet  from  the  Court, 
And  label'd,  "  For  thy  Chapel — by  the  Aulter — 
The  Legend  is  for  profit  and  for  sport — 
Sort  it,  nor  faulter." 

3-1872  LYRICS  295 

The  pacquet  had  in  it  a  kinde  of  mould  :— 
The  Legend  was  nine  tiles — on  each  a  letter : — 
I  marvel'd  how  my  king  should  be  so  bold 
To  send  no  better. 

I  raked  my  moulde,  and  by  the  holy  horn 
I  strewed  it ;  then  I  fell  to  at  my  spelling — 
But  how  I  grieved  upon  my  Prince's  scorn 
Is  past  the  telling. 

For  with  that  moulde  it  'sorted  parlously, 
As  thus  in  one  plain  circular  I  laid  it ; 
And,  every  letter  fitting  curiously, 

"VILE  EARTH"  I  made  it. 

But  then  I  saw  the  strangest  miracle, 
For  every  grain  forsook  its  proper  station 
And  ran  in  current ;   and  each  particle 
Glowed  red  carnation. 

"  My  V,  my  L,  have  gone  astray,"  quoth  I : — 
"  '  LIVE  EARTH ' "  quoth  I,  and  sorrowed  of  my  blunder. 
And  penned  a  letter  very  gracefuUie 
To  prayse  the  wonder. 

Then  once  again  it  chang'd  :    it  clomb  in  air : 
But  it  dull'd  back  into  its  old  clay  colour. 
Yet  on  a  point  it  stood ;    then,  rounding  faire 
Swell'd  and  grew  fuller. 

I  mused  me — and  I  posed  me — moved  the  type — 
'"VILE  HEART.'     But  ah!    my  Emp'rour,  my  Creator! 
Did  not  I  know  it?     And  didst  thou  not  wipe 
Out  hence  the  traitour?" 

In  that  same  instant  it  grew  cristall  clear : 
Th'  hyaline  sea  is  not  more  clear  and  brightsome : 
I  lost  all  sense  of  wrong — all  sorrow  and  fear — 
I  was  so  lightsome. 

■  For  then  I  saw  Emmanuel's  light  of  love ; 
Knew  what  he  meant. — Back  V  and  L  I  shifted  ; 
And  tow'rd  dear  musick  in  the  airs  above 
My  front  I  lifted. 

296  LYRICS  AET.  40-44 

And  the  bright  heart  went  flashing  round  and  round 
At  th'  Aulter  place,  immortal  ichor  bleeding, 
Translucent  unto  Him  and  whole  and  sound : — 
"LIVE  HEART"  's  the  reading! 

F.  Benedicti — hys  quip 
And  the  syghte  is  overlefe. 

In  the  early  seventies  the  Greek  Archbishop  of  Syra 
and  Tenos  came,  as  I  have  said,  to  stay  at  Lincoln :  my 
father  was  much  interested  in  him  ;  the  Greek  Archbishop 
attended  the  Consecration  of  Dr  Mackenzie  as  first  Bishop 
Suffragan  of  Nottingham,  in  St  Mary's,  Nottingham,  about 
which  my  father  wrote : — 

Did  I  mention  to  you  how  much  I  was  struck  with  the 
impression  made  by  our  Consecration  of  the  Elements  on  the 
Greek  Archbishop?  If  not  let  me  tell  you  on  the  other  side. 
Only  be  merciful. 

He  watched  it  most  intently  as  did  his  chaplain,  each  time 
that  a  new  consecration  for  the  multitude  of  communicants  was 
required,  and  he  put  out  his  hands  making  faint  half  gestures  to 
himself  of  crossing  and  blessing  the  bread  and  wine  with  such  a 
strange  dreamy  mystical  look.  While  the  Consecration  was  going 
on  in  the  body  of  the  church,  he  talked  quietly  to  the  deacon 
about  it  for  some  time — and  I  saw  him  imitating  with  his  finger 
and  thumb  the  easy  way  in  which  the  Bishop  of  London  transferred 
the  bread  from  the  credence  to  his  paten  ;  and  then  with  a  half 
pitying  smile  he  raised  his  eyebrows  and  nodded  and  put  out  both 
hands  as  much  as  to  say,  "Did  you  ever  see  the  like?" 

He  wrote  the  following  sonnet  on  the  same  : — 


and  hoiv  he  kept  festival  with  us  of  the  Epiphany  of  Christ 
itt  St  Mary  of  Nottingham. 

Bronzed  of  Aegean  summers,  bowed  with  power 
"Laid  on,"  saith  he,  "by  God,  and  borne  by  God'," 
Erect  above  us  kneeling,  hour  by  hour, 
Veiling  his  raven  tresses'  lustrous  flood, 

1  His  words  to  Bishop  Mackenzie. 

1869-1873        HYMN   ON   ST   JOHN   BAPTIST  297 

Tenos  and  Syra's  Alexander  prays 

Forgetting  Delos'  sheen  'mid  our  dim  grays. 

Robed  like  a  purple  sunset,  still  he  read, 

Yet  half  he  scorned  our  sweet  simplicities, 

Familiar-reverent  of  our  broken  bread. 

Prayed — smiled  full  soft — and  smiled  and  prayed  again. 

And  with  unconscious  hands  felt  for  the  thread 

Of  his  own  gorgeous,  antique  mysteries. — 

Ah  Lord! — ah!    for  Thine  undivided  reign 

Splendid  as  Heaven,  and  as  Thine  upper  chamber  plain! 

I  subjoin  a  hymn  written  in  1873  by  my  father  at  the 
request  of  a  neighbouring  clergyman,  the  Rev.  H.  S.  N. 
Lenny,  Vicar  of  Crowthorne,  whose  Church  was  dedicated 
to  St  John  Baptist  and  consecrated  on  May  5th  of  that 
year.  Crowthorne  was  a  little  hamlet  close  to  Wellington 
College,  and  in  the  Parish  of  Sandhurst. 

A  Hynm  for  the  Festival  of  St  fohn  Baptist. 

June  24. 

Praise  we  the  Baptist's  living  Lord 

Who  evermore  shall  crown 
For  His  dear  Church  the  ageless  Word 

Of  Him  Whose  Name  we  own. 
The  Wonders  of  old  time  are  ours, 
With  deeper  meanings,  richer  powers. 

"Behold  the  Lamb  of  Ood,"  he  cried--- 

The  voice  that  thrilled  the  waste ; 
Down  to  the  full  on-rushing  tide 

The  pilgrim  thousands  haste. 
There  from  unfaltering  lips  to  win 
Knowledge  of  self  and  grief  for  sin. 

"  Behold  the  Lamb  of  God :    He  stands 

Yet  silent  and  unknown ; 
Bright  with  baptismal  fires,  His  hands 

Lave  and  refine  His  own." 
So  still  our  spirits.  Spirit-stirred, 
Are  born  of  water  and  the  Word. 

298  HYMN  AET.  44 

"  Behold  the  Lamb  of  God ! "  he  sounds 

A  more  soul-piercing  strain  : 
God's  spotless  Lamb — and  ours  the  wounds — 

For  this  world's  Life  is  slain ; 
And  mystery  of  mysteries, 
We  touch,  we  taste  that  sacrifice. 

Great  Three  in  One,  Who  didst  o'er-gleam 

That  mystic  ministry, 
Father  in  cloud,  and  Son  in  stream, 

And  Spirit  hovering  high. 
More  blest  Thy  kingdom's  youngest  child 
Than  the  dread  prophet  of  the  wild  ! 



'•'•  Sonantem  plenties."     Horace. 

In  the  year  1869,  Bishop  Temple  was  appointed  to 
Exeter.  There  was  a  good  deal  of  High-church  oppo- 
sition to  the  appointment,  headed  by  Bishop  Wordsworth, 
who  regarded  the  Headmaster  of  Rugby  as  a  dangerous 
heretic.  My  father  was  not  only  a  most  loyal  admirer 
and  friend  of  Dr  Temple's,  but  knew  how  deep  and 
ardent  his  holiness  was ;  he  wrote  both  in  the  Newspapers 
and  to  private  friends  most  firmly  in  defence  of  the  strength, 
wisdom  and  faith  of  Dr  Temple,  and  sent  to  the  Bishop 
of  Lincoln  copies  of  his  published  letters,  enclosing  a 
resignation  of  his  Chaplaincy.  The  Bishop  of  Lincoln 
smiled  and  threw  the  letter  into  the  fire ;  and  my  father 
became  Dr  Temple's  examining  chaplain  as  well  as  the 
Bishop  of  Lincoln's,  and  held  both  appointments  simulta- 
neously for  a  few  months. 

My  father  wrote  to  the  Times  concerning  the  Temple 
Controversy.  The  letter  is  dated  "Wellington  College, 
Oct.  16,"  and  was  printed  Oct.  22,  1869.  A  few  para- 
graphs may  be  quoted. 

I  hope  not  to  be  thought  presumptuous  if  I  venture  to 
raise  a  voice  for  the  honour  of  one  on  whom  the  whole  fight  is 
turning.  The  same  motives  which  have  kept  Dr  Temple  silent 
so  many  years  under  misconstruction  may  very  likely  keep  him 
silent  still.     His  better  and  abler  friends  are  silenced,  too,  some 

300  ESSAYS   AND    REVIEWS  aet.  40 

by  their  position,  some  by  the  party  cries  which  would  challenge 
their  advocacy,  and  some  of  those  who  know  him  best,  and 
therefore  value  him  most,  by  the  immediateness  of  their  con- 
nexion with  him  and  his  work. 

In  these  circumstances  I  venture  to  write  as  one  lying  under 
none  of  these  disabilities,  whose  religious  and  ecclesiastical 
opinions,  so  far  as  they  may  be  known  at  all,  will  be  known  to 
differ  "by  the  whole  sky"  from  the  unhappy  book,  the  worst 
page  of  which  is  turned  to-day,  and  as  one  who,  nevertheless, 
may  claim  Dr  Temple's  friendship  as  one  of  the  best  parts  of 
his  life 

There  has  never  been  quoted  an  unorthodox  dictum  of 
Dr  Temple's.  He  is  incapable  of  uttering  or  holding  one.  If 
he  held  one  he  certainly  would  utter  it,  for  his  worst  enemies 
allow  him  fearlessness,  and  those  who  have  had  the  very  slightest 
contact  with  him  know  well  that  there  is  "  such  an  honest  nature 
in  the  man  "  that  to  obtain  or  retain  one  office  or  gift  at  the  price 
of  concealing  an  opinion  is  not  in  him 

My  own  opinion  is  that  the  book '  not  only  went  infinitely 
beyond  this,  but  that  the  conception  was  a  mistake  and  the 
proposed  treatment  uncalled  for ;  that  theology  no  more  suffers 
than  any  other  science  from  conventional  terms  and  definite 
language,  and  that  it  is  no  more  advisable  to  call  "the  Law"  "a 
rule,"  or  to  call  a  conscience  enlightened  by  the  Divine  Spirit 
"principle,"  than  it  would  be  desirable,  as  the  late  Master  of 
Trinity  humourously  proposed,  to  adopt  the  same  method  in 
physics,  and  treat  of  the  "impenetrability  of  matter"  as  the 
"  unthroughableness  of  stuff."  But  the  choice  of  phraseology,  at 
any  rate,  is  a  matter  of  opinion,  and  there  is  good  precedent  even 
for  such  attempts  to  bring  philosophy  down  among  men. 

He  goes  on  to  say  that  Dr  Temple's  Rugby  Sermons 
are  the  best  answer  to  the  charges  brought  against  him 
by  Dr  Pusey.     He  continues  : — 

I  read  the  beginning  of  the  second  sermon :  "  The  return 
of  Easter  should  be  to  the  Christian  life  like  the  call  of  a 
trumpet.  It  is  the  news  of  a  great  victory.  It  is  the  solution  of 
a  great  perplexity.  It  crowns  the  work  of  Christ.  It  was  ex- 
pected   by   prophets,    it   was   witnessed    by   apostles,    it   is   the 

^  Essays  and  Reviews. 

i869  LETTER   TO   THE   TIMES  301 

foundation  of  apostolic  doctrine."  Is  this  tiie  language  of  one 
"whose  whole  argument"  is,  as  Dr  Pusey,  alas  !  believes,  "hostile 
to  the  Creeds  "  ?  In  another  sermon  I  read  "  of  the  mysterious 
grace  of  God  "  (see  note  at  the  end),  of  "  the  secret  power  of  the 
working  of  the  Atonement  of  Christ,  working  even  in  those  who 
have  never  heard  of  the  Atonement."  Is  this  the  language  of  one 
who  holds  the  Bible  story  to  be  but  "a  stimulant  to  the  con- 
science," like  "  one  of  George  Eliot's  novels  "  ? 

Sir,  that  Dr  Pusey  should  have  penned  this  sentence  is  a  real 
grief,  and  I  cannot  but  believe  that  his  love  and  candour  will 
recall  it ;  but  that  he  should  ever  so  have  written  wrings  one's 
heart.  That  he  should  seek,  too,  disestablishment  as  a  welcome 
deliverance  from  the  most  energetic  toilsomeness,  the  tenderest 
feeling,  the  Church  is  likely  to  have  laid  at  her  feet  for  many  a 
day,  this  makes  the  whole  Church  one's  confidant.  "  Hostile  to 
the  Creeds "  !  I  have  been  in  Rugby  chapel  often  when  the 
Creeds  have  been  chanted,  and  then  the  sight  of  the  Head- 
master's stall  has  revived  the  memory  of  another  "complete  image 
of  the  union  of  dignity  and  simplicity,  of  manliness  and  devotion," 
which  we  have  read  of. 

There  are  many  now  who  could  tell  you  of  faith  established 
and  love  of  Christ  made  real  by  his  work,  and  love  of  the  Church 
too.  His  Form,  his  House,  know  well  how  constantly  he  has 
pressed  on  them  the  reading  of  their  Bibles — "  daily,  alone, 
making  it  the  one  rule  of  life."  To  one  person  I  know  he 
absolutely  refused  to  read  a  famous  sceptical  work,  discussed  at 
the  time  in  all  reviews  and  in  all  companies,  till  the  half-year  was 
over,  "  because  I  will  not  go  to  the  sixth  with  even  the  thought  of 
his  sentences  hanging  about  me "  ;  and  one  in  fear  of  worldly 
contentions,  asking,  "  How  shall  I  bear  it  ?  What  can  I  do  to 
get  strong  for  it?"  was  answered,  "Go  to  the  chapel."  And  one 
who  was  disposed  to  put  aside  the  Offertory  and  use  another 
means  of  collecting  money  remembers  even  the  tears  with  which 
the  eyes  swam  before  the  lips  had  finished  the  sentence  :  "  If 
there  are  two  ways  of  doing  a  thing,  and  the  Church  has  approved 
one  of  them,  that  ought  to  be  sufficient  to  make  us  choose  it  and 
love  it." 

Sir,  the  self-denial,  the  resolution,  the  health-breaking  labours 
of  this  man  have  inaugurated  a  scheme  which,  whatever  may  be 
said  against  it,  will  revive  our  old  waste  places  of  England — 
wasted    money,    wasted    buildings,    wasted    energies — into   fresh, 

302  LETTER— DR   TEMPLE  aet.  40 

strong  fountains  of  education ;  and  there  are  other  institutions 
which  their  soi-disant  friends  talk  of  "  revising,"  but  the  remedies 
they  have  yet  proposed  will  stiffen  in  death  the  languishing 
members.  If  they  are  to  be  revived  it  must  be  not  by  handing 
them  over  empty  and  swept  to  a  grand  custodian,  but  by  thronging 
them  with  active  and  well-organised  workers,  as  the  other  founda- 
tions will  be  thronged  which  he  has  touched. 

They  who  censure  this  cofige  d^elire  know  not  the  man.  They 
know  not  the  singleness,  and  truth,  and  patience ;  they  know  not 
the  courage,  the  manliness,  the  life,  which  they  would  divert  from 
the  service  of  the  Church ;  they  know  not,  which  is  more,  the 
power  of  inspiration,  not  short  of  genius,  which  he  has  for  others, 
the  energy  with  which  contact  with  him  sets  other  men  to  work ; 
how  many  a  shadow  springs  before  him  into  reality.  For,  least  of 
all,  do  they  know  his  sympathetic  charity,  and  the  might  of  his 
Christian  faith. 

We  have  yet  to  learn  how  we  are  to  give  our  great  institutes 
their  true  reality ;  how  we  are  to  make  ourselves  worthy  once 
more  to  be  the  Church  of  the  masses— masses  which  it  is  my  firm 
belief  he  will  have  helped  powerfully  to  penetrate  with  the  love  of 
the  Cross,  the  love  of  the  Church,  when  Essays  aiid  Revinvs  are 

Thank  God  for  the  tokens  which  are  abroad  that  other  of  our 
Bishops,  too,  see  somewhat  of  that  great  secret !  But  we  cannot 
spare  Dr  Temple. 

To  Miss  E.    Wordsworth. 

20th  Oct.  1869. 

I  feel  very  gravely  and  bitterly  sorry  about  the  mistake  as 
to  the  letter.  I  mean  in  that  I  had  not  made  it  plain  that  the 
letter  was  then  going  to  the  newspapers,  and  that  I  sent  it  to  the 
Bishop  because  I  didn't  wish  him  to  become  first  acquainted  with 
it  through  the  newspapers.  I  wrote  it  as  sooji  as  I  saw  Dr  Pusey's, 
feeling  that  a  defence,  to  be  worth  anything,  in  that  case  must  be 
instant.  If  I  had  had  tune  to  seek  advice,  I  should  have  written 
to  the  Bishop  himself,  at  the  risk  of  giving  him  additional  trouble, 
instead  of  only  begging  you  to  acquaint  him  with  the  contents.  I 
thought  that  like  Edward  Grim  I  was  bound  to  put  out  my  arm 
while  the  sword  was  falling ;  hoping  that  in  this  case  it  might  stop 
other  blows. 

I  could  only  trust  and  pray  that  he  might  not  be  displeased 

i86g  DR   TEMPLE  303 

with  me  and  my  view  of  my  immediate  duty — I  can  only  say  that 
this  came  to  me  Sta  7rpo(Tev)(^wv  kuI  8id  ttoAAi^s  ao-^evetas'  and  I 
may  say  8ta  SaKpvwv^  also. 

I  see  the  evil  there  would  be  in  pressing  on  a  Diocese  a  Bishop 
unwelcome  to  the  majority.  But  do  we  know  the  views  of  the 
majority  ?  As  to  the  Clergy,  Temple  himself  said  the  other  day 
(he  knew  nothing  about  my  letter),  "  Many  of  those  who  have 
taken  part  against  me  will  think  it  necessary  for  consistency's 
sake  to  hold  aloof  from  me.  But  if  it  please  God  to  send  me  here, 
and  to  give  me  a  little  time,  I  have  no  fear  about  winning  them." 
Indeed  he  would  do  it.  I  think  therefore  that  we  may  even  now 
afford  to  consider — what  the  sense  of  justice  tells  one  one  ought  to 
consider — what  the  very  Truth  of  the  man  is — (as  a  most  prayerful, 
painful  student  of  the  'Word,  a  most  eager  liver  by  all  Holy  Rule) 
— and  not  only  what  may  be  the  present  opinion  about  him, 
which  in  ignorance  of  him  would  now  hold  him  away  from  his 

I  will,  if  I  have  a  chance,  bring  out  more  still  my  dislike — 
my  horror — not  my  dread,  for  I  will  not  fear  it — of  Essays  and 
Revinvs.  But  I  did  say,  (i)  "That  the  whole  conception  of  the 
book  was  wrong."  (2)  "That  it  went  ififinitely  farther  than  even 
that  wrong  conception."  And  I  thought  perhaps  I  ought  not  to  say 
more  than  that  in  a  paragraph  of  which  the  object  was  what  it  was. 

I  must  not — dare  not — let  something  else  you  say  pass  without 
protest.  You  do  not  know  me  when  you  say  that  "  to  be  mis- 
represented etc.  for  a  friend's  sake  would  rather  attract  me  than 
repel  me."  You  don't  know  how  I  shrink  and  quake,  and  how 
miserably  afraid  I  am  of  any  cetisure — even  the  censure  of  people 
I  do  not  and  ought  not  to  care  about.  John,  I  think,  has  heard 
my  painful  confession  on  this  subject.  But  do  not  think  that  it  was 
anything  chivalrous,  or  quixotic  even,  which  prompted  me  to  rush 
into  the  fray.  If  there  is  visibility  in  the  spirit  world,  my  poor 
spirit  would  have  been  seen  dragged  and  pushed  pale  and  sinking 
into  the  arena,  by  forces  which  would  not  let  it  hide. 

I  feel  with  you  that  Truth  is  before  Peace.  "  Peace  through 
the  Truth"  is  the  only  Peace.  But  then  my  position  is  that 
Temple  is  in  the  Truth^ — and  what  a  beginning  of  truth  would 
it  be  for  me  if  I  were  to  stand  by  and  see  one  whom  I  ktiow  to  be 
a  Christian  indeed,  so  traduced  as  an  unbeliever,  and  himself  so 
silent.  How  could  I  answer  it?  It  is  not  for  me  to  give  any 
^  Through  prayers  and  through  much  infirmity — through  tears. 

304    DR  TEMPLE'S  APPOINTMENT  TO  EXETER    aet.  40 

opinion  on  other  points,  but  it  seemed  to  be  plainly  mine  to  bear 
witness  to  his  character. 

I  am  receiving  letter  after  letter  from  people  who  say  that  I  am 
a  right  witness  here  because  I  am  known  to  lean  so  far  away  from 
his  supposed  school,  and  indeed  to  have  forfeited  friendships,  and 
even  family  affections,  by  opposition  to  it. 

I  am  much  exercised  even  now  about  Rugby.  I  have  written 
a  long  letter  to  John,  putting  before  him  pros  and  cons,  as  to  my 
standing.  But  I  have  told  him  not  to  advise  me  if  he  had  rather 
not.  Sitting  here  alone  at  midnight,  writing  this  long  letter  to  you, 
and  thinking  of  Lord  Derby's '  deathbed,  and  most  of  my  two  oldest 
friends  this  same  time  it  may  be — or  at  least  of  one — I  feel  like  a 
man  on  a  hill-top  covered  with  mist,  who  can't  see  his  own  way,  or 
the  Church-spire,  or  the  sky. 

To  Bishop  Wordsworth,  on  Dr  Temples  appointment  to 
the  Bishopric  of  Exeter. 

Master's  Lodge,  Wellington  College, 
28  Oct.  1869. 
My  dear  Lord, 

I  hope  I  have  not  seemed  ungrateful  for  so  much 
goodness  and  so  much  tenderness  as  you  have  showered  on  me 
from  your  own  and  other  hands  in  this  last  painful  time.  If 
ungrateful  I  should  have  been  graceless  too.  But  I  have  been 
away  for  one  day,  and  so  worked  and  perplexed  all  the  other 
days  that  I  could  not  get  ten  minutes  to  thank  you.  My  exami- 
nation of  the  whole  school  is  going  on  and  it  gives  me  sessions 
of  seven  hours  a  day.  It  will  be  over  on  Saturday  and  I  shall 
breathe  again. 

Your  parable  of  Paul  and  Mark  and  Barnabas  was  most 
refreshing  to  a  troubled  spirit,  and  if  I  deserve  to  be  called  "Son 
of  Consolation"  it  is  because  Consolation  has  come  to  me  so 
richly.  But  I  could  not  have  sailed  to  Cyprus.  I  should  have 
had  to  stay  like  the  Marpessian  rock.  Love  and  Justice  to 
Temple  made  me  feel  that  I  could  not  be  still  while  his  own 
orthodoxy  and  want  of  personal  faith  in  Him  with  whom  he  walks 
almost  as  if  He  were  visible,  were  questioned.  And  if  he  has  not 
learnt  the  whole  story  of  the  Great  40  days  of  the  teaching  of  the 

^  The  14th  Earl  of  Derby,  three  times  Prime  Minister,  died  Oct.  23,  1869. 

i869  LETTER— DR   TEMPLE  305 

Kingdom  of  God,  he  may  learn  it  yet  in  giving  so  true  a  soul  and 
so  earnest  a  will  to  labour  in  the  Church's  work  more  directly. 
To  see  such  a  Mark  labouring  with  you  in  the  great  cause,  and, 
as  you  so  happily  auspicate,  hand  in  hand,  in  the  division  of  our 
vast  dioceses  as  the  first  step,  would  be  a  sight  "  gude  for  sair  een  " 
in  these  days.  But  if  one  cor  piisillum  has  room  for  what  I  have 
not  at  all  too  strongly  expressed  as  my  feeling  for  Temple,  and  at 
the  same  time  for  the  evdrrys  Trvev'/xaro? '  which  God  has  blessed  me 
to  feel  in  your  own  whole  spirit  and  work,  surely  the  Catholic 
Church  in  her  most  Catholic  branch  can  give  you  both  plots 
in  the  same  vineyard.  And  I  scarcely  write  this  when  (I  am 
addicted  to  omens)  I  see  side  by  side  in  the  Society  for  the 
Increase  of  the  Home  Episcopate,  as  two  of  its  earliest  Com- 
mittee, the  Bishop  of  Lincoln  and  the  Bishop  Elect  of  Exeterl  I 
hail  it  yr]Boa-vvo<i  K7jp'\  Thank  you  for  that  noble  word  that  "The 
Grace  of  God  moves  in  diagonals."  It  is  a  motto.  And  when  in 
the  next  world  the  map  of  the  sad  Bella  Justorum  is  spread  out 
before  our  eyes,  with  what  wonder  we  shall  recognize  that  the 
strange  marchings  and  countermarchings  of  bodies  of  men  which 
we  took  sometimes  for  foes,  and  always  regarded  with  distrust, 
were  after  all  but  the  bringing  up  of  bodies  of  unknown  allies 
under  cover  of  night  by  a  generalship  whose  plans  we  could  not 
follow  in  the  campaign. 

I  hope  after  all  that  the  letter  has  not  been  without  good 
result.  A  very  large  and  kindly  correspondence  which  has  flowed 
in  on  me  upon  the  subject,  seems  to  say  that  it  has  removed  some 
prejudices  which  rested  on  simple  ignorance  of  the  man,  and  these 
you  would  think  it  right  to  remove,  all  the  more  because  you  had 
other  principles  of  objection.  One  letter  in  particular  from  Canon 
Cook  has  given  me  much  pleasure.  I  have  had  one  exceedingly 
bitter  and  painful  letter  from  A —  B — ,  which  I  have  endeavoured 
to  answer  in  a  different  spirit. 

I  am  still  much  exercised  about  Rugby.  I  had  a  letter 
yesterday  which  almost  made  me  resolve  to  stand.  But  my  heart 
falls  back  on  my  younger  and  poorer  bride  here.  I  don't  think  I 
can  give  her  a  writing  of  divorcement. 

^  Unity  of  spirit. 

2  In  the  Session  of  1869  Lord  Lyttelton  had  introduced  a  Bill  for  the 
increase  of  the  English  Episcopate.  The  Bishops  of  London  and  Oxford 
supported  it ;  the  remainder  of  the  Bench  abstained  from  voting,  and  the 
measure  was  rejected  by  43  to  20.  ^  Glad  at  heart. 

B.  I.  20 


Pray  do  not  shudder  at  a  third  sheet.  It  is  only  taken  to 
renew  my  thanks  most  earnestly  for  your  sympathy,  and  to  ask 
your  consideration  for  me — and  to  assure  you  that — God  being  my 
helper — I  will  endeavour  to  prove  to  you  more  and  more  that  you 

do  not  throw  it  away. 

Ever,  my  dear  Lord, 

Your  most  faithful  and  affectionate  Bedesman, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

The  "Boy  Bishops  and  Maiden  Deans"  were  gravely  impressed 
by  your  benediction'.  And  Maggie  said  "He  knows  quite  well, 
doesn't  he,  that  it  is  the  girls  that  ought  to  be  Deans — not 

The  last  phase  of  ecclesiasticism  is  that  Martin  and  Arthur 
have  now  agreed  always  to  call  Freddy  "Bishop"  and  he  receives 
it  with  condescension.  But  Nelly  thinks  it  is  not  quite  right — 
rather  profane.  They  are  an  amazing  amusement  with  their 
innocently  busy  devices  amid  all  anxieties. 

To  Miss  E.    Wordsworth. 

13  Nov.  1869. 

The  Rugby  business  is  indeed  well  and  happily  over ;  and 
I,  though  I'm  not  quite  sure  that  M.  is  of  the  same  mind, 
walk  about  this  beautiful  place  with  a  tenderness  I  have  not 
had  this  ten  years.  For  all  that,  these  many  excitements  seem 
to  draw  a  thin,  perfectly  transparent,  but  as  it  were  tangible  veil, 
for  these  few  weeks  between  the  place  and  me — and  I  am  not 
so  excitable  and  troubled  with  troubles  as  I  was,  and  can  work 
harder  at  it  with  less  fatigue.  Perhaps  that  is  the  good  which 
is  to  come  of  it,  and  when  the  veil  is  rolled  up  one  will  be 
keener  than  ever.  Faxit  Deus !  Don't  you  think  one  does 
sometimes  go  through  these  baptizing  processes — they  don't 
change  one's  case,  but  somehow  they  manage  to  "retemper" 
us,  as  Albert  says^,  and  send  one  on  an  old  route  with  a  new 

I  received  the  Bishop's  letter  this  morning.  And  this  evening 
from  the  Elect  of  Exeter  one  which  astounded  me^     If  he  had 

^  Bishop  Wordsworth  had  called  my  elder  brother  and  myself  "The  Boy 
Bishops,"  and  my  two  sisters  "  The  Maiden  Deans." 
2  Refers  to  the  Ricit  cTuite  Sceur. 
^  In  this  letter  Dr  Temple  asked  Dr  Benson  to  be  his  Examining  Chaplain. 

.869  LETTERS— DR   TEMPLE  307 

not  written  to  my  Lord  first  I  should  have  been  in  a  great 
quandary,  but  as  he  secured  his  permission  I  have  no  real  ground 
for  declining,  while  I  should  be  very  glad  to  serve  or  help 
Dr  Temple  in  anything  which  my  Lord  does  not  dislike — but  I 
feel  my  first  and  only  allegiance  due  to  him.  However  from 
another  side  it  really  seemed  as  a  sudden  and  swift  step  towards 
the  accomplishment  of  the  prophecy  that  a  corporation  may  yet 
come  out  of  Dissidence.  But  St  Barnabas  himself  was  not  taken 
a  little  way  with  St  Paul  and  then  sent  off  with  St  Mark.  Still  the 
Bishop's  prophecy  rings  strangely  round  in  one's  ears. 

There  is  more  holiness  in  Philology  than  in  Bones.  What 
rubbish  it  is  to  call  the  former  the  study  of  Man's  work  and  the 
latter  the  study  of  God's  work ;  it  is  like  calling  what  one  writes 
with  one's  finger  in  the  sand  better  than  what  one  writes  with 
one's  pen. 

The  boys  are  all  out  in  Blackwater  Meadows  running  or 
watching  Kingsley's  Steeplechase — for  which  he  gives  them  a 
prize  every  November — painting  themselves  red  in  our  iron 
streams  or  black  in  our  peat,  and  with  such  a  blaze  of  warm 
clouds  in  the  most  glorious  sky  over  the  heathery  ridges  and  fir 
woods.  The  lanes  were  full  of  flies  and  gnats.  Never  was  such 
a  November,  and  yesterday  the  cows  were  standing  winking  in 
the  sun  all  afternoon,  and  lazily  lashing  their  sides  with  their 
tail-tassels,  having  by  no  means  studied  the  Calendar  to  such 
good  effect  as  we. 

Your  most  affectionate, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  Professor  Lightfoot. 

Wellington  College. 

15  Nov.  1869. 
Dear  Lightfoot, 

I  am  glad  you  liked  the  "  Temple  letter  " — at  least  you 
don't  say  you  liked  it,  but  at  any  rate  I  was  glad  you  think  it 
produced  the  effect  which  I  intended  it  to  produce. 

I  am  not  expers  of  your  fears  of  his  rashness,  defiance, 
independendulousness,  or  whatever  it  is,  in  future.  But  this 
made  no  difference  upon  that  issue. 

Arthur  Butler  has  been  staying  here  a  week,  and  it  is  like 
having  a  piece  of  the  heavens  to  carry  about  with  you. 

20 — 2 

3o8  LETTERS— PUSEY   AND   TEMPLE         aet.  40 

You  will  imagine  that  my  Bishop  was  not  very  happy  about 
Temple.  I  can  only  express  the  deepest  gratitude  that  he  has 
taken  it  as  he  has  done — in  the  sweetest  way — and  holiest — 
though  differing  from  me  intensely. 

I  hear  the  saddest  accounts  of  Lee'. 

Would  I  could  look  on  you  !  I  have  been  in  trouble  about 
Rugby,  but  fortunately  had  no  cause  to  trouble  you. 

Yours  affectionately, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  Miss  E.    Wordsworth. 

Wellington  College,  Wokingham. 

Dec.  16,  1869. 
My  dear  Elizabeth, 

If  your  father  were  to  be  angry  with  me  it  would  break 
my  heart,  but  I  have  been  almost  heart-broken  about  Dr  Pusey's 
letter  ^  I  venerate  Dr  Pusey,  and  I  love  Temple,  as  you  know 
— and  I  know  that  Temple  is  only  so  apparently  a  terror  to 
Christian  souls  because  it  is  unknown  what  a  Christian  soul  he  is. 
Your  delicious  journal  is  come  and  it  breaks  out — in  the  few 
pages  I  have  read  of  it — on  my  present  sadness  as  the  sun  is  just 
rolling  out  his  gold  through  black  falling  rains.  Oh!  that  our 
Sol  Jiistitiae  would  show  his  countenance  over  our  Capta  Judaea. 
Why  do  great  good  men  so  utterly  mistake  and  ignore  each 
other — when  we  know  that  they  will  walk  with  clasped  hands 
in  Paradise? 

To  his   Wife. 


Dec.  1869. 

The  Bishop  asked  me  to  lecture  to-night,  but  my 
empty  head  had  nothing  in  it  but  Novum  Registrum  and  St 
Martin  of  Tours,  either  of  which  might  have  done.  But  in 
the  meantime  it  has  occurred  to  him  to  lecture  himself,  which 

^  Bishop  of  Manchester. 

^  On  Dr  Temple's  appointment  to  the  Bishopric  of  Exeter. 

i869  LETTERS— RUGBY  309 

is  much  more  delightful,  on  the  Oecumenical  Council,  so  I  shall 
gain  some  notion  of  its  general  bearings  I  trust,  as  to  which  I  am 
in  much  doubt.  At  present  it  only  looks  to  me  like  a  vial :  a 
meaningless  curse  on  the  Church,  sure  to  alienate  all  the  thoughtful 
part  of  R.  C.  countries. 

Our  journey  was  of  course  rather  less  brotherly  and  sisterly 
than  we  had  hoped,  one  could  only  talk  of  things  which  we  didn't 
care  about,  and  there  is  a  general  achiness  in  my  heart's  bones  to 
think  good  does  me  so  little  good,  and  that  one's  soul  is  like  that 
horrid  dirty  room  where  the  man  sweeps  for  ever,  choking  with 
dust  and  never  getting  any  out  of  the  door.  How  I  want  a  Master 
with  a  big  stick. 

Perhaps  it  all  comes  from  the  horrible  dividedness  about 
Rugby.  If  the  offer  comes  I  know  no  more  what  to  say  now 
than  when  T.  first  wrote.  How  can  I  give  up  the  heather  and  fir 
woods  of  Wellington,  not  the  outer  ones,  but  the  heathery  piny 
spirit  of  health  and  lovingness,  which  rang  out  in  those  boys' 
voices  and  our  chapel  life,  and  the  splendid  way  in  which  all  the 
Masters  took  my  very  sharp  and  strong  language — about  saying 
what  they  did  not  mean, — and  all  else  that  blesses  one's  work 
there — for  such  an  intense  responsibility — for  the  constant  society 
of  friends  whose  love  is  real — but  best  at  a  distance — love  which 
is  parted  off,  or  rather  streaked  down  its  middle,  by  the  sense  that 
different  views  on  such  points  must  for  perhaps  several  years  blunt 
the  edge  of  much  that  one  has  to  say  on  the  most  important  parts 
of  education. 

If  I  am  to  do  any  good  there — which  perhaps  is  God's  care — 
it  can  but  be  done  in  a  spirit  of  utter  quietness — striving  and 
crying  will  never  change  the  tone.  One  comfort  there  is,  that  if 
they  want  me  there  to  be  the  "  Saviour  of  the  Commonwealth  "  as 
Temple  fiercely  puts  it,  they  at  any  rate  call  me  as  a  "  Conservative 
High  Churchman "  as  Arnold  no  less  fiercely  puts  it.  But  will 
they  after  a  while  throw  their  Minister  overboard,  with  a  vote  of 
want  of  confidence? 

Reigning  over  the  Trees  awoke  the  ambition  of  neither  olive 
nor  vine,  only  the  poor  twisty  bramble  cared  to  go. 

Why  do  I  write  you  all  this  ?  'cause  I  can't  talk  it — 'cause  I 
can't  help.  I'm  going  to  talk  to  the  Bishop  about  it.  But  he's 
not  likely  to  love  Rugby — and  I'm  not  certain  that  it  would  be 
possible  for  anyone  to  believe  in  the  integrity  with  which  I  wish 
to  serve  the  Church  in  my  poor  way  more  than  anything  else. 


He  feels  and  must  feel  as  if  maintaining  Temple's  orthodoxy  was 
injuring  the  Church  of  which  he  thinks  he  ought  not  to  be  a 
Ruler.  But  it  isn't — Temple  will  hold  to  Christ  and  to  the 
Church  of  England  crowds  who  would  otherwise  forsake  her  and 
him — and  he's  raised  up  to  do  so  in  these  times  until  this  tyranny 
be  overpast.    But  my  Lord's  counsel  will  anyhow  be  holy  counsel. 

Your  how  loving  husband, 

E.  W.  B. 

To  Miss    Wordszuorth,  describmg  a  visit  to  Dr   Westcott 
at  Peterborough,  and  Dr  Temple  s  Consecration. 

Wellington  College. 

Dec.  23,  1869. 

At  12.30  Westcott  met  me  at  Peterborough,  and  just  as  I 
had  deposited  my  luggage  in  the  cloak  room  brought  me  a  kind 
message  from  the  Bishop  that  I  would  dine  with  him.  I  found 
I  could  reach  town  before  ten  next  morning,  and  so  settled  to 
stay  the  night. 

After  dinner  at  the  Bishop's,  at  about  11.30  p.m.,  Westcott  and 
I  went  into  the  Cathedral,  faintly  and  most  beautifully  lit  with 
moonlight,  and  I  need  scarcely  tell  you  how  we  went  to  the  High 
Altar  and  prayed  silently  for  the  world  and  the  Church.  I  do 
not  think  either  of  us  could  have  borne  to  speak  our  prayers 
aloud,  but  I  trust  God  will  hear,  and  heal  our  divisions  and 
develop  through  us — or  through  worthier  instruments — the  great 
work,  which  seems  to  me  to  be  the  crowning  one  of  our  Church 
revival,  the  efficiency  of  Cathedral  institutions,  and  the  organi- 
sation of  them  with  distinct  and  practical  ends.  The  next 
morning  there  was  to  be  early  Communion — it  being  St  Thomas's 
day — (this  is  one  of  the  advances  which  Westcott  has  got  him 
to  make) — and  he  got  the  Bishop's  leave  to  announce  to  his  little 
congregation  that  their  "  prayers  were  desired  for  those  who  were 
that  day  to  be  Consecrated  Bishops  in  the  Church."  The  Bishop 
was  going  to  Celebrate  himself. 

Well !  we  sate  up  of  course  and  talked — the  consecration  and 
Rugby.  We  came  to  a  sort  of  conclusion  as  to  what  we  hoped 
Temple  might  say,  and  as  to  Rugby,  Westcott  agreed  with  me, 
to  my  great  peace,  that  unless  an  irresistible  call  came  I  should 


take  no  school  work  after  Wellington ;  but  that  I  should,  on  the 
first  opportunity,  give  up  school  work  for  Cathedral  work,  and 
this  I  shall  certainly  do.  The  talk  was  delightful  and  suited  my 
whole  soul — reanimation — reconstruction — not  destruction  in  any 
sense — and  life  simple  and  busy  and  strong — and  anti-luxurious. 
(His  coenobitic  ideas,  which  I  think  you  will  not  think  very 
advanced,  are  to  be  delivered  at  Sion  College.)  I  am  hopeful 
that  my  call  will  come  with  His  direction  and  I  trust  that  I  am 
not  presumptuous.  Westcott  was  stronger  than  I  am  that  I  ought 
not  to  go  in  for  ten  years  more  of  school  work  without  some  most 
distinct  voice. 

So  we  parted,  and  breakfast  at  7  next  morning,  and  then  to 
the  early  Communion  in  Peterboro',  and  I  fast  as  steam  would 
carry  me  to  St  Peter's,  Westminster — no  difficulty  in  getting  in 
from  the  cloisters  in  caps  and  gowns— a  hapless  body  of  Rugby 
Masters — old  friends  looking  so  pale  and  haggard. 

I  had  an  excellent  place  given  me  in  the  Sacrarium.  Montagu 
Butler^  and  Geo.  Butler^  were  there  and  many  friends,  besides 
oceans  of  people  unknown.  After  a  little  while  I  discovered 
my  dear  wife's  and  boy's  faces  close  to  the  Altar  rail,  and 
Mrs  Sidgwick  looking  very  unwell.  It  was  an  anxious  pause. 
Above  half  an  hour  we  sate  in  silence  and  I  fancy  everybody 
guessed  the  cause  of  the  delay  in  the  Jerusalem  Chamber.  I 
needn't  tell  yoic  how  the  Abbey  looked  with  a  foggy  day  in  the 
hundred-foot-high  arches,  and  how  the  tapers  cast  a  still  light  in 
misty  globes  all  down  the  choir,  and  how  the  two  gigantic  tapers 
in  front  of  the  Altar  waved  their  blaze,  and  how  Salviati's  mosaic 
gleamed,  and  the  great  gold  plate  shimmered,  and  the  alabaster 
Reredos  cast  streaky  lines  across  its  veins,  and  the  yellow  wax 
lights  on  the  Altar  stood  in  their  irrational,  legal,  unkindledness, 
not  conveying  with  more  force  "the  signification  that  Christ  is 
the  true  Light  of  the  world,"  and  the  glimpses  into  Henry  VII. 's 
Chapel  and  the  tombs  of  the  Kings — and  how  sweet  a  re- 
membrance floated  over  all  of  a  certain  Litany,  and  a  certain 
Rochet,  and  a  certain  face.  But  dear  Temple's  face  was  white 
as  ashes,  and  his  jet  black  hair  and  whiskers  and  the  white  and 
black  of  his  robes  made  him  look  in  his  stillness  a  sad  sight  for 
a  friend's  eye  to  rest  upon.  His  healthy  bronze  was  quite  gone, 
but  he  looked  a  true  man.     He  knelt  in  my  Lord's  place  (on 

^  Now  Master  of  Trinity.  ^  Formerly  Canon  of  Winchester. 


St  Matthias,  1868)  and  I  pray  that  I  may  some  day  see  them 
kneel  side  by  side '.  Then  strangely  enough  he  gave  me  the 
Holy  Communion — each  of  the  Bishops  being  sent  by  the  Dean 
to  a  different  row.  The  Bishops  all  looked  tried^  but  I  never  saw 
the  Bishop  of  London'^  move  out  so  briskly  and  speak  so  solemnly 
and  livelily,  as  he  did  throughout.  St  David's^  looked  far  older 
than  when  last  I  saw  him,  but  bowed  as  he  becomes,  his  grand 
old  forehead  seemed  yet  more  prominent,  and  though  he  walks 
uneasily  and  heavily,  he  moved  out  before  every  one  to  meet 
Exeter  at  the  Rails.  The  Bishop  of  Worcester^  was  of  course 
impassive;  the  Dean  of  Durham's*  sermon  was  well  and  fairly 
delivered,  his  throat  tickled  him  and  he  often  drank  some  water. 
It  lasted  nearly  an  hour.  The  main  points  of  it  were:  i.  The 
definite  and  certain  character  of  the  Christian  Revelation  :  the 
fixity  of  the  Incarnation  and  the  Resurrection  :  the  profluence 
from  those  of  the  other  articles.  2.  The  simplicity  of  the 
Gospel.  3.  The  liberty  to  Churches  and  to  men  to  work  out 
in  different  ages  and  spheres  the  minor  details  of  the  application 
of  the  Creeds  to  the  varying  needs  of  man.  But  I  suppose  it 
will  be  published.  When  at  the  end  he  said  how  earnestly  he 
had  desired  that  he  might  see  Temple  in  the  "very  place"  to 
which  God's  providence  had  called  him,  meaning  not  only  a 
Bishopric,  but  the  Bishopric  of  Exeter,  there  was  "sensation." 
His  allusions  to  T.  throughout  were  very  delicate  and  very 
interesting.  Lord  A.  Hervey  and  "  Lord  Falkland  Isles  ^ " 
came  in  for  a  little  attention  necessarily,  but  both  looked  tranquil 
and  Lord  A.  H.  something  more.  Stanley's  tears  and  voice 
most  thrilling :  I  never  heard  such  an  effort  to  speak  strongly, 
and  the  dead  pause  by  which  it  was  sustained  went  to  one's  heart. 
To  jne  all  the  time — you'll  excuse  me  for  feeling  hoiv  in- 
teresting— little  Martin's  pale  face  and  wide  open  eyes  struggling 
in  vain  to  take  in  the  significance  of  it  all,  close  over  the  Altar 
rails,  and  fixed  on  his  godfather's  white  face,  was  interesting,  as 
a  kind  of  understrain. 

^  The  Bishops  of  Lincohi  and  Exeter  were  the  two  prelates  who  presented 
the  Bishop  of  Truro  for  consecration  in  1877. 

"^  Bishop  Jackson.  ^  Connop  Thirlwall,  Bishop  1840 — 1874. 

"  Bishop  Philpott.  »  W.  C.  Lake. 

®  On  the  same  day  Lord  Arthur  Hervey  was  consecrated  Bishop  of  Bath 
and  Wells,  and  Dr  W.  H.  Stirling,  Bishop  of  the  Falkland  Isles,  a  see  which 
he  still  retains. 

1869-1870  LETTERS— RISEHOLME  313 

"What  will  my  handwriting  come  to  ?  a  split  needle  would  suit 
me  for  a  pen — but  I  must  leave  off,  having  now  worn  you  out : 
we  came  home  here  last  night  after  my  week's  absence  (and  what 
a  week  !)  and  Minnie  and  I  not  having  talked  enough,  talked 
after  breakfast  till  half-past  ten.  What  holy  scenes — what 
ennobling  scenes — what  sorrowing  scenes — what  scenes  of  hope 
and  rich  promise — for  will  not  they  reap  in  joy  who  sow  in  tears  ? 
and  who  is  sowing  in  more  tears  than  our  friend  of  Exeter  ?  and 
on  his  account  I  am  certain  more  than  because  he  feels  himself 
parted  from  our  father  of  Lincoln — (you  don't  know  what,  from 
him,  is  the  language  of  his  letter) — and  cannot  step  over  the 
distance  between,  though  tendens  vianus  ripae  ulterioris  atjiore. 
Well,  all  those  scenes,  what  are  they?  Will  they  leave  me  as  dry 
and  unloving  and  selfish  as  ever?  How  can  one  get  Love  into 
one's  system  ?  into  one's  blood  ?  not  drink  it  like  a  glass  of  wine 
which  makes  a  little  glow  and  a  little  flush,  and  passes? — 
Ah  !  Sunday  last !  Ah  !  the  evenings  !  Ah  !  the  Bishop  !— 
Mrs  Wordsworth — all  of  you — John's  book' — Chris's  prizes— the 
moonlit  trees  themselves — the  Oecumenical  Council  going  on  in 
its  evil  work — the  poor  stricken  Rugby — such  a  sorrowful  packet 
again  this  morning — my  pen  showing  maniacal  tendencies  of 
a  phantasmagorial  nature.     But  now  all  you  dear  ones,  goodbye. 

To  his   Wife. 


Jan.  4,  1870. 
My  dearest, 

I  can't  tell  you  the  inexpressible  calm  sweet  sister- 
liness  of  the  four  at  Riseholme.  If  you  had  been  here  it  would 
have  been  perfect.  Mrs  Wordsworth  is  so  busy  and  motherly 
affectionate  and  the  Bishop  not  only  kissed  me  but  put  his  arm 
round.  To  have  so  sunk  into  the  bosom  of  such  a  house  and  to 
feel  that  they  not  only  love  one,  but  love  one  with  all  one's  faults 
which  must  be  nearly  as  well  known  to  them  as  to  you,  that  is 

^  Fragments  and  Specimens  of  Eayly  Latin,  with  Introduction  and  Notes. 
8vo.  Macmillan,  1874. 

^  The  Council  was  opened  at  Rome  on  Dec.  8,  the  procession  in  St  Peter's 
consisting  of  800  ecclesiastics,  including  6  Prince-Archbishops,  49  Cardinals, 
and  680  Archbishops  and  Bishops.  On  July  13,  1870,  the  Council  voted  on 
the  4th  chapter  of  the  ConstitiUio  de  Ecclesia,  embodying  the  doctrine  of  Papal 
Infallibility,  as  follows; — ^00  placet,  88  non-placet,  do  placet  juxta  modnm. 

314      LETTERS— LIGHTFOOT  AND  WESTCOTT     aet.  40 

a  thing  which  ought  to  encourage  one  to  higher  ways  of  feeling. 
And  then  those  two  friends  here.  But  of  all  blessings,  you  are 
the  crown.  Do  keep  yourself  well  and  strong  that  you  may  be  a 
blessing  always  :  if  you  were  to  have  ill-health  what  good  would 
my  life  do  me? 

Kiss  our  darlings  and  keep  them  good  and  prayerful.  God 
has  wonderfully  upheld  our  Martin  in  his  sincerity  and  goodness 
till  now. 

Ah  !  what  blessings  !  I  will  not  ruin  them  by  the  thought  of 
my  own  unworthiness. 

Your  loving  husband, 

E.  W.  B. 
To  his    Wife. 


Jaji.  5,  1870. 
My  dearest  Wife, 

Yesterday  we  walked  over  Derwentwater  on  the  tee 
to  near  the  Islands,  then  turned  across  and  went  up  Catbells  in 
the  snow — a  most  glorious  walk — a  fine  stormy  sky  with  still 
golden  lights  catching  the  hills,  of  which  the  forms  seem  more 
beautiful  than  Alps,  and  the  size  in  those  lights  might  be  anything. 
This  morning  the  world  swims  with  thaw. 

Lightfoot  is  yclept  brother  Zoticus  and  Westcott  the  Abbot — • 
our  discipline  is  good.  W.  is  not  unwell — no,  he  does  not  look 
strong — his  enjoyment  of  his  walks  is  great — so  would  mine  be 
but  that  I  wish  more  to  be  with  you  and  don't  work  well.  How- 
ever if  you  can  assure  me  that  you  are  really  well  again  that  will 
reconcile  me  to  stopping.     But  do  not  hide  anything. 

The  Confirmation  is  fixed  for  March  27th.  With  dearest  love 
to  all  our  dears  and  you — your  loving  husband — E.  W.  B. 

To  his   Wife. 

My  dear  Wife, 

Master's  Lodge,  Wellington  Coll. 
fan.  10,  1870. 

That  "  Puseyite "  period  was  a  sad  trying  time  in 
which  to  bring  up  children — and  the  mistakes  then  made  are  not 
only  excusable  but  perhaps  did  more  good  in  the  way  of  teaching 

i87o  OFFER   OF   LIVING   OF   DORKING  315 

a  new  generation  than  any  amount  of  correct  teaching.  It  warns 
us  when  we  teach  children  to  love  and  stand  by  the  Church  as 
God's  greatest  instrument  of  good,  to  impress  on  them  that  it  is 
a  Society — not  an  ideal  person — to  talk  of  it  as  "it,"  not  as 
"she" — to  obey  its  laws  with  a  sense  that  they  are  like  other 
laws — and  to  feel  that  there  is  no  absolute  trust  to  be  placed 
anywhere  but  in  Him  in  whom  Humanity  and  Divinity  are 
summed  up.  Those  two  elements  of  Life  Everlasting  are  not 
united  in  the  Church.  We  have  to  improve  the  Church,  and  to 
place  our  faith  only  in  the  Head.  He  will  bring  back  the  Three 
to  the  Church  as  well  as  to  Himself  if  we  only  pray  for  floods  of 

Your  ever  lovingest  husband, 

E.  W.  B. 

In  1870,  my  father  was  much  tempted  by  an  offer 
made  to  him  by  his  old  friend,  Mr  Cubitt,  of  the  living 
of  Dorking.  The  main  difficulty  was  that  his  private 
means  were  small  and  the  living  was  not  worth  more 
than  i^500  a  year,  while  his  children  were  growing  up, 
and  would  before  long  have  to  be  sent  to  school.  He 
recognised  in  himself  a  growing  desire  for  larger  and 
more  directly  spiritual  work:  he  certainly  considered, 
as  his  letters  show,  the  question  very  carefully ;  and 
actually  went  down  with  John  Wordsworth  to  look  at  the 
place.  On  this  visit  a  curious  incident  occurred,  which 
with  his,  so  to  speak,  aesthetic  pleasure  in  the  superstitious 
side  of  events,  his  fondness  for  observing  little  omens 
and  coincidences,  made  a  certain  impression  on  him.  He 
arrived  with  John  Wordsworth  at  the  Church  at  Dorking, 
after  a  walk,  just  as  the  bell  was  ringing  for  evening 
service.  They  determined  to  attend  Vespers,  and  went 
in  and  took  their  places.  The  bell  continued  ringing 
for  an  unusual  time  and  at  last  ceased  :  but  no  minister 
appeared.  At  last  an  old  verger  came  in,  made  his  way 
down  to  the  pair  and  said,  "  Is  either  of  you  gentlemen  a 
clergyman?"     My  father  who  was  nearest  said  "Yes,"  and 

3i6  DORKING  aet.  40 

the  verger  explained  that  the  living  being  vacant,  the 
church  was  served  by  a  locum  tenens,  who  had  not  put  in 
an  appearance.  My  father  said  that  he  would  read  the 
service,  went  to  the  vestry  and  habited  himself.  The 
verger  produced  a  coloured  stole,  but  my  father  demurred : 
the  man  said  that  it  was  the  use  of  the  church,  but  my 
father  said  he  was  used  to  a  black  stole  and  hesitated  ;  as 
they  discussed  it,  rapid  steps  approached  the  vestry  from 
outside,  and  a  panting  clergyman  burst  in,  apologising — 
his  train  had  been  late — the  verger  explained  the  situation. 
"  I  am  very  much  obliged  to  you,  sir,  I  am  sure,"  said  the 
locum  tenens,  "but  I  need  not  trouble  you  now."  The 
verger  suggested  that  my  father  should  assist:  "  No,  thank 
you,"  said  the  locum  tenens,  "  I  am  paid  to  do  the  duty 
and  I  prefer  to  do  it  myself"  So  my  father  divested 
himself,  and  took  his  place  again  with  John  Wordsworth 
among  the  worshippers.  Of  course  the  incident  did  not  in 
any  way  decide  him :  but  it  often  amused  him  to  relate 
that  he  should  have  been  so  near  officiating,  and  that 
the  duty  should  have  been  taken  out  of  his  hands  at  the 
last  moment. 

To  Mr  George  Cubitt. 

April  18,  1870. 
My  dear  Cubitt, 

I  shall  never  be  able  to  thank  you  properly  for  your 
most  kind  letter ;  which  proposes  to  me  a  subject  demanding  my 
most  serious  consideration.  I  do  not  know  how  long  I  ought  to 
remain  a  schoolmaster.  I  do  not  think  of  ending  my  days  in 
this  profession.  And  I  am  sure  I  shall  never  have  an  offer  of 
a  living  more  attractive  in  many  ways  as  this  by  itself  would  be, 
(should  you  in  the  event  of  a  vacancy  make  the  offer,)  and  I 
should  never  have  the  opportunity  of  working  with  and  near  a 
friend  whom  it  would  be  more  delightful  to  me  to  be  near. 
Previous  talks  with  you  about  the  parish  make  me  feel  that  I 
understand  and  agree  with  you  about  it. 

I  see  the  population  is  about  3400  but  I  do  not  know  what 

i87o  DORKING  317 

is  required  in  the  way  of  curates  which  would  fall  upon  the 
Vicar.  I  wish  above  all  things,  if  I  could  choose,  to  have  a 
Canonry,  and  if  one  offered  I  should  accept  it  without  reference 
to  its  value,  for  I  think  that  at  this  time  the  Church  of  England 
is  in  such  danger  of  losing  her  hold — if  it  is  not  lost — on  higher 
education  for  her  clergy — her  University  tenure  being  most 
precarious — we  are  bound  to  supplement  it,  and  the  Cathedral 
system  offers  an  ancient,  recognised,  calm  and  safe  mode  of 
education  if  only  a  few  more  people  will  give  themselves  to  its 
development.  To  revive  or  extend  such  organisation  is  my  most 
earnest  desire — greatly  stimulated  by  what  I  have  seen  of  candi- 
dates for  Orders  as  Chaplain  to  the  Bishop  of  Lincoln.  And  if 
a  Canonry  ever  came  to  me  I  should  give  myself  wholly  to  that 
work,  and  should  not  think  it  right  for  me  (with  these  views)  to 
hold  a  living  at  the  same  time.  But  for  Cathedral  preferment  it 
is  not  likely  that  any  Government  would  select  me,  I  fear,  as 
they  have  political  people  to  attend  to,  and  may  be  not  unfairly 
incredulous  of  the  possibility  of  that  reform,  the  coming  of  which 
I  believe  in  so  firmly.  I  entertain  you  with  this  long  story  only 
to  show  you  that  I  could  not  combine  Dorking  with  a  Canonry, 
and  that  therefore  I  must  consider  it  as  standing  alone.  How 
long  will  you  give  me  to  think  it  over?  I  shall  not  be  able  for 
nearly  a  fortnight  to  see  a  friend  without  whose  advice  I  should 
not  like  to  decide.  Of  course  I  shall  lay  it  before  him  in  a 
merely  abstract  form,  without  any  indication  of  person  or  place. 
Meantime  I  must  decide  sooner  if  you  wish  it,  and  then  I  would 
try  to  see  you  in  Town. 

Believe  me,  my  dear  Cubitt,  with  far  more  thanks  for  your 
confidence  and  kindness  than  I  can  at  all  express. 

Sincerely  yours, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  his    Wife. 


Ap.  27,  1870. 

What  an  odd  coincidence  that  I  should  have  been 
here  at  all  within  a  fortnight  after  the  offer  of  the  living,  the  visit 
having  been  arranged  previously  to  the  offer.  Then  coincidence 
of  service  hour  with  our  walk,  then  the  vicars  wife's  request,  the 

3i8  DORKING  aet.  40 

preparation  for  service,  the  investment  and  the  divestment !  I 
had  of  course  been  praying  earnestly  for  guidance  when  the  sign 
came.  But  how  to  interpret  it.  John  says  it  only  signifies  that 
the  vestments  liked  me  not.  I  say  it  is  the  call  and  the  rejection, 
as  if  Elijah  had  taken  the  robe  off  Elisha  the  son  of  Shaphat  after 
having  thrown  it  on. 

The  Chancel  is  new,  and  most  beautiful.  Three  brilliant 
banners,  candles  in  candlesticks  10  or  11  feet  high,  vases  of 
flowers  cover  the  altar,  7  lamps  in  red  glass  burn  day  and  night 
before  altar.  Gregorians  very  bad,  sermon  high,  fanciful,  irritating 
and  untrue.  "  The  power  of  the  Resurrection  "  culminates  in  the 
"undivided  presence  of  the  Body  of  the  Lord  upon  1000  altars" 
— and  all  so  sectarian. 

The  glory  of  the  hills  and  plains,  the  surging  ranges,  the 
white  blossoming  trees,  the  tender  larches,  the  sea  far  away  thro' 
Shoreham  gap,  and  the  brooks  and  the  pools  and  the  clear  air 
had  given  one  equanimity — or  one  could  not  bear  to  see  the 
Church  of  England  thus  narrowed  down  by  her  unwise  sons  into 
the  position  of  a  meeting  house.  But  still  if  I  came  here  I  could 
not  sweep  all  this  away  as  the  Patron  would.  I  should  have  too 
strong  a  feeling  against  alienating  those  who  had  found  some 
comfort  somehow  in  such  poor  and  dearly  bought  signs,  and  it 
would  be  a  hard  task  to  win  back  the  rest — and  could  I  do  it? 
and  hadn't  I  better  stick  to  my  boys  till  my  time  comes  for 
Sandhurst  churchyard? 

John  remarks  on  the  "  stubborn  cunning  "  of  the  Englishman 
of  the  lower  class — it  is  too  true — how  is  one  to  deal  with  the 
poor  ?  God  touches  the  hearts  of  so  few  now-a-days,  and  till  they 
are  touched  it  seems  as  if  nothing  was  to  be  done.  I  must  also 
tell  you  John's  reason  for  the  fact  which  I  mentioned  that  "nothing 
makes  one  feel  so  glad  as  the  song  of  birds."  He  says  it's  because 
there's  no  reproach  in  it.  I  suppose  in  setting  suns  and  budding 
trees  there  is  a  contrast  or  a  resemblance  to  oneself  which  involves 

Kiss  all  my  loves.  How  dear  life  is — such  coolnesses  and 
sweetnesses  for  eye  to  look  on  and  heart  to  rest  on — and  such 
strength  in  such  friendships. 

Your  loving  husband, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

i87o  RUGBY    DECLINED  319 

To  Canon    VVestcott. 

Well.  Coll. 
May  13,  1870. 
My  dear  Westcott, 

I  am  very  grateful  for  your  kindest  letter  about  the 
Living.  You'll  be  surprised  to  hear  that  my  mind  is  not  quite 
made  up. 

I  have  a  certain  longing  for  Pastoral  work  just  now,  and  for 
a  mixed  congregation — and  I  really  feel  as  if  I  had  run  my  course 

Perhaps  this  feeling  is  somewhat  strengthened  by  a  great 
anxiety  which  I  have  just  now.  But  I  must  deepen  my  trust 
in  Him  qui  pavit  me  a  juventute  mea  usque  ad  banc  horam, 
Angelus  qui  eruit  me  a  cunctis  malis. 

Still,  this  place  is  in  many  ways  almost  perfection — {^Do  come 
and  see  it) — and  the  work  encouraging.  My  eye  has  just  lighted 
on  a  sentence  of  Grosseteste's'  letters,  "  Dicit,  si  diligis  me,  pasce 
eves  meas,  nusquam  dicit,  si  diligis  me,  lege  in  cathedra" — a 
mere  burr  however,  not  an  arrow. 

But  how  are  you  settling?  Ideals  are  never  quite  filled  up. 
Yet  I  think  your  Ideal  will  be  nearly.  Other  men  have  wished 
to  restore  Cathedral  life,  but  no  one  of  these  has  hitherto  had 
such  a  grasp  of  the  conditions  of  the  problem,  or  so  penetrated 
himself  with  the  Modern  Thought  as  well  as  the  ancient  prin- 
ciples, as  you.  And  on  this  all  turns.  My  own  ignorance  of 
Modern  Thought  makes  me  hesitate  as  to  whether  I  am,  after 
all,  right  in  thinking  I  have  a  true  vocation  Cathedral-wards. 
It  is  bad  to  be  a  reactionist,  and  ruin  the  places  we  love  and 
work  in. 

Yours  affectionately  ever, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

He  was,  as  has  been  seen,  greatly  exercised  as  to  whether 
he  should  stand  for  the  Headmastership  of  Rugby,  vacated 
by  Dr  Temple's  appointment  to  the  Bishopric  of  Exeter, 
but,  though  it  was  intimated  to  him  that  he  would  be  elected 
if  he  did  so,  he  felt  it  his  duty  to  decline. 

^  Successor  of  Hugh  of  Wells  in  the  See  of  Lincoln. 

320  LETTERS   TO   MISS   WORDSWORTH         aet.  40 

Mr  Carr  writes  : — 

Dr  Benson  was  most  loyal  in  his  attachment  to  Wellington 
College.  There  was  a  moment  in  the  history  of  Rugby  when  he 
would  have  been  welcomed  there  as  Headmaster.  The  temptation 
was  a  strong  one.  The  prestige  of  Rugby  was  great  and  esta- 
blished, the  Headmaster's  stipend  was  double  that  of  Wellington. 
Dr  Benson  did  me  the  honour  to  consult  me  on  the  subject.  He 
would  never  leave  Wellington,  he  said,  if  he  could  be  certain  of  the 
loyalty  of  the  Masters  and  of  their  wish  to  retain  him.  I  was  able 
to  assure  him  in  the  most  unqualified  terms  of  our  personal  attach- 
ment to  him  and  of  our  desire  that  he  should  remain.  He  decided 
to  stay.     But  we  all  felt  it  would  not  be  for  long. 

To  Miss   Wordswoj'th. 

Wellington  College. 
SS.  Shnon  and  Jude,  1 869. 

I  was  last  week  at  the  funeral  of  my  father's  mother — she  had 
married  again  and  had  another  family.  She  was  88  years  old, 
and  had  lived  for  15  years  in  the  strictest  retirement.  I  had  only 
seen  her  twice  in  that  time.  She  was  a  very  wonderful  old  lady, 
and  her  story  very  interesting,  and  very  sad  from  the  beginning  to 
the  very  end.  The  day  was  to  me  not  wholly  sad— but  full  of  a 
strange  triumphant  thought  that  if  ever  we  come  to  Paradise  it 
will  be  something  like  a  very  beautiful  churchyard.  There  will 
be  glorious  and  very  ancient  trees,  and  very  distant  views,  and 
very  warm  sunlight — and  the  presence  of  the  Altar  will  be  felt — 
and  an  influence  from  Christ's  Body  and  Blood  will  be  sensibly 
felt  in  the  spirits  that  wait,  and  under  the  great  groves  of  trees 
will  be  many  monuments  with  the  Cross  on  every  one  of  them — 
only  the  monuments  will  not  be  records  of  death  but  records  of 
earthly  life,  and  how  we  shall  wish  to  erase  some  of  the  lines,  and 
as  Paradise  draws  near  its  end,  those  lines  will  fade  away  and  be 
remembered  no  more. 

I  am  glad  you  are  relenting  a  little  about  the  Recit  dhine 
Soeur.  You  will  relent  much  before  the  end.  But  what  Susan 
says  is  most  true.  It  is  very  unlike  the  Biblical  spirit  which 
pervades  the  lives  of  our  holy  people.  But  how  doubly  interesting 
that  is.  How  it  shows  us  the  inestimableness  of  our  own  treasure, 
in  the  English  Bible  being  the  most  diffused  of  all  books — and  on 
the  other  hand  how  it  shows  the  vitality  of  Christianity  that  even 


when  it  has  become  a  tradition  only — when  there  is  no  access  to 
the  Word  itself — yet  such  virtue  should  have  gone  out  of  it,  and 
so  live  and  propagate  itself  from  age  to  age  and  soul  to  soul  (by 
Tradition  only,  as  I  have  said)  as  to  produce  lives,  hearts,  spirits, 
so  sweet,  so  pure,  so  self-denying,  so  saint-like,  as  that  whole 
household.  I  wish  I  could  write  oftener,  but  when  I  sit  down 
I  cannot  help  writing  on.  Farewell — Minnie's  love.  Dio  vi 
benedica ! 

Friday  morning.  I  think  I  may  say  I've  finally  determined  to 
cast  no  lots,  but  to  stand  by  her^ — King  Cophetua's  choice. 

To  Miss   E.    Wordsworth. 

29  Oct.  1869. 

I  was  perplexed,  after  my  calm,  by  a  strong,  short  arguing 
letter  on  Rugby's  account.  The  only  one  I  ought  to  take  account 
of,- — indeed  I  had  set  aside  others,  and  felt  then  bound  to  take 
a  day  to  reconsider  this. 

I  have  again  resolved  not  to  stand  for  three  reasons — and 
your  after  dinner  note  comes  as  a  most  welcome  reinforcement  of 
all  three. 

My  three  grounds  are:  i.  Slightly  diminishing  energy  (which 
I  must  not  hide  from  myself)  in  teaching.  2.  An  indisposition 
to  look  on  it  as  the  Last  End  of  my  life.  3.  An  irremovable 
sense  of  claim  on  me  of  Well.  Coll. 

1.  I  do  not  think  it  likely  that  I  could  add  many  years  of 
"  dynamical  effectiveness  "  to  my  past  seventeen.  A  man  ought 
not  to  go  on  teaching  the  Sixth  who  can  teach  the  Speech  of 
Pericles  coolly.  And  I  am  reading  it  now  with  less  "spin"  than 
I  did  three  years  ago.  Pericles  is  a  good  test  and  dull  boys 
wear  one. 

2.  Rugby  ought  to  be  my  one  end  if  I  went  there.  I  confess 
I  don't  think  I  can  now  undertake  to  work  for  the  Church  in  no 
other  way,  between  40  and  50,  than  through  boys  still.  Cyprian 
and  others  seem  to  say  I  have  given  more  than  youth  to  youth, 
and  may  give  manhood  to  men — if  God  only  fit  me  so  to  do — 
if  I  may  unpresumptuously  say  so. 

3.  Wellington  College  does  I  think  claim  what  scholastic 
vis  I  have.     I  can't  set  the  better  material  and  the  money  against 

^   I.e.   Wellington  College. 
B.  I.  21 

322  LETTERS— BISHOP   WILBERFORCE         aet.  40 

it.  I  am  /x€ix.vy](7Tevix€vo<;^  to  her — though  eleven  years  ago,  I'y 
Temple's  advice,  I  left  Rugby  with  the  hope  of  returning  to  her, 
the  cherished  idea  is  over.  Now  you  know  the  secret  of  the 
struggle,  and  will  keep  it  to  yourselves. 

To  Miss  E.    Wordsworth. 

26  Nov.  1869. 

The  Bishop  of  Oxford^  has  been  lunching  here  and  walking 
about  in  great  alternations  of  great  gravity  and  boisterous 
fun.  He  was  most  amusing.  But  though  his  acuteness  has 
helped  us  in  making  a  most  excellent  bargain  to-day  about  a 
road — I  sotnehow — wish — he  was  not — quite — so  acute — not  quite, 
you  know.     Very  nearly. 

{Moral.  Great  people  bind  burdens  on  little  people's  shoulders, 
which  they  wouldn't  touch  with  one  of  their  fingers.  Little  people 
like  seeing  great  people  picking  up  the  like  parcels.  Which  are 
the  worst?  The  little  people,  because  it  is  so  easy  to  be  good 
under  such  circumstances.  But  to  great  people  the  temptations 
of  power  are  so  great.) 

Your  affectionate, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  Miss  E.    Wordsworth. 

Nov.  27,  1869. 

As  for  the  clerical  poverty  it  is  too  sad  and  too  true.  I  know 
a  little  place  in  which  the  clergyman  was  not  so  poor  because  he 
was  not  married.  But  he  dressed  in  brown  and  wore  blue  ribbed 
stockings  like  a  labourer.  He  rang  the  Church  bell  himself. 
His  Rector — the  other  was  a  Chapelry — one  of  the  "  sweetest " 
of  sweet  souls,  never  could  persuade  him  that  he  did  not  think  his 
living  ought  to  be  taken  from  him.  But  the  Rector  was  really 
very  fond  of  him.  One  day  when  the  Bishop  (Longley)  was 
staying  with  him  he  took  him  up  the  "gill"  to  see  the  Capellan. 
He  locked  the  front  door  and  locked  them  out — and  when — not 
to  be  daunted — they  went  in  at  the  back  door  of  the  cottage, 
they  found  him  sitting  with  his  legs  crossed  and  his  face  covered 
with  his  hands  in  the  corner — and  he  said,  "  I  always  knew  you 

^  Espoused.  "^  Bishop  Wilberforce. 

i869  LETTERS— DEATH    OF   BISHOP   LEE  323 

meant  to  take  the  living  from  me  and  now  you've  brought  the 
Bishop  to  do  it." 

This  is  not  a  pathetic  story  Hke  yours,  but  only  think  what 
hangs  on  to  it. 

Advent  Sunday  again.  If  I  can  muster  spirit  enough  I  mean 
to  talk  to  the  boys  in  Chapel  on  Saturday  night  for  five  minutes 
about  (TKOTLa  7j8r]  eyeydvet  kol  ovk  iXrjXvOci  Trpos  avrous  6    ItjctoiJs  . 

They  have  so  little  idea — these  children — about  what  is  meant 
by  "Jesus  coming"  to  them — and  I— is  my  idea  rightl  Who 
can  tell  me  that?  But,  looking  at  the  world,  surely  it  has  got 
very  dark — and  can  it  be  long} 

To  Canon    Westcott. 

Wellington  College. 

Dec.  3,  1869. 
My  dear  Westcott, 

I  feel  anxious  over  your  three  words  "Peterboro' 
troubles  me" — I  can't  divine  2vhy — not  because  there  all  is  not 
as  it  should  be,  for  you  knew  that — nor  because  there  is  man's 
work  for  you  there,  for  that  is  your  joy  and  crown — nor  because 
you  find  the  "old  leavening"  still  hates  the  "new  leavening,"  for 
that  is  in  the  nature  of  things — nor  because  you  think  the  old 
order  will  have  to  give  place  to  the  new  even  thro'  a  convulsion. 
For  the  convulsion  won't  come  unless  it  is  wanted. 

I  can't  make  it  out.  If  it's  a  secular  trouble,  super  leonern 
et  nspidetfi  ambulabis.  If  it  is  a  Church  trouble  it  will  roll  away 
in  prayer.     But  I  hope  I  may  hear  a  little  more  at  any  rate  the?i. 

Affectionately  yours, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  the  Rev.  J.  F.  Wickejiden,  on  the  death  of  the 
Bishop  of  Mane  I  tester"-. 

Wellington  College. 

Dec.  27,  1869. 
My  dear  Wickenden, 

Your  letter  was  a  most  terrible  shock.  I  have  written 
to  C.    Evans   at   Mauldeth  to  know   day  and    hour   of  funeral. 

^   "And  it  was  now  dark,  and  Jesus  was  not  come  to  them,"  John  vi.  17. 
'^  Bishop  Lee  died  on  Dec.  24,  aged  65. 

21 — 2 

324  LETTERS— BISHOP    LEE  aet.  40 

If  it  is  possible  and  permitted  of  course  I  shall  be  there.  But 
I  not  only  have  more  exams,  but  on  Saturday  I  have  to  preach 
in  the  Cathedral  at  10  o'clock,  and  to  be  at  Lincoln  on  Friday 

I  suppose  I  can  work  across  country  somehow. 

He  mentioned  his  wish  about  CAATTICEr  to  me  too  and  I 
hope  it  will  be  done. 

To  die  on  Xmas  Eve — to  pass  into  Paradise  on  Xmas  Eve — 
and  perhaps  catch  whispers  of  angels  or  prophets  telling  what 
Heaven  was  like  when  first  He  was  gone  from  among  them  to  be 
a  child. 

Your  loving, 

E.  W.  B. 

To  Professor  Lightfoot. 

Wellington  College. 

December,  1869. 

My  dear  Lightfoot, 

I  am  sure  you  will  be  very  deeply  distressed  to  hear 
news  of  such  a  nature  as  mingles  with  Christmas  Greetings  of 
this  year.  You  perhaps  may  learn  by  some  public  channel 
earlier  than  my  letter,  what  nevertheless  I  can't  help  writing  to 
you  about,  the  death  of  our  dearest  old  Master,  Lee,  on  Xmas 
Eve.  A  letter  from  C.  Evans  only  adds  that  they  had  no  fears 
about  him  until  the  morning  of  that  day.  AVhen  the  funeral  is 
I  do  not  know,  but  have  written  to  C.  Evans  to  ask.  I  have  to 
preach  in  the  Cathedral  at  Lincoln  on  Saturday  at  10,  but  if  it  is 
anyway  possible  I  shall  be  at  the  funeral.  I  wish  you  were  in 
England.  Our  last  visit  to  him  left  us  both,  I  think,  with  the 
impression  that  there  was  some  grievous  malady  making  great 
encroachments  which  nature  was  making  no  head  against. 

When  we  think  of  the  rapt  way  in  which  we  used  to  stand 
listening  to  his  Georgics  and  his  Thucydides,  and  the  spin  with 
which  he  sent  us  home  day  by  day  at  14  years  old  ! !  some  crack 
sent  right  through  the  hide  of  coarseness  so  that  day  by  day  there 
was  less  speech  of  anything  that  could  offend  against  purity  or 
loftiness,  and  of  the  way  in  which  the  holiest  and  noblest  interests 
budded  up  in  us,  and  the  love  of  the  Church  as  well  as  of  the 

1  The  Trumpet  shall  sound.     See  p.  42. 


Lord  appeared— y8pva)v^  as  one  of  his  favourite  words  had  it — in 
our  hearts,  while  with  such  honour  he  abstained  from  biassing  us 
in  poHtics  or  religion  (when  a  word  from  him  would  have  held 
us)  and  saw  contentedly  such  different  opinions  from  his  own 
springing  up  in  all  of  us — how  ought  we  to  reverence  this  man, 
who  received  us  children  and  parted  with  us  men. 

What  a  spirit  of  work,  what  a  spirit  of  grace  did  he  minister 
to  us.  Having  worked  in  the  same  line  myself,  and  having  the 
most  earnest  desire  to  effect  what  he  effected,  and  seeing  to  how 
little  all  one's  efforts  amount,  I  am  more  amazed  than  I  am  even 
dehghted,  to  think  what  a  fame  was  his. 

Events  have  for  me  been  passing  nearly  as  fast  as  they  have 
I  suppose  with  you.  Our  own  examination,  and  this  Rugby 
Election,  and  the  Lincoln  Ordination  and  Temple's  Consecration, 
and  a  visit  to  Westcott  at  Peterbro'  and  now  the  death,  and  this 
week  New  Year's  Day  sermon  at  Lincoln,  and  on  Monday 
Temple's  examination  and  Ordination,  are  almost  too  great  a 

Temple's  Consecration  was  a  most  solemn  affair.  Stanley's 
look  and  voice,  and  Temple's  own,  more  impressive  than  any- 
thing I  remember.  There  was  a  protest  you  know  in  Jerusalem 
Chamber  instantly  before  from  8  Bishops.  My  dear  Bishop  of 
Lincoln  has  been  one  of  the  most  active  on  that  side  and  I  was 
staying  there  at  the  time.  He  behaved  most  nobly  to  me  and 
has  allowed  Temple's  request  that  I  might  examine  for  him  at 
Exeter  for  this  his  first  Ordination.  I  trust  that,  though  it  has 
not  been  permitted  me  to  alter  the  overt  acts  of  either  of  them, 
God  has  still  let  me — (and  may  He  make  me  do  more)  to  be  of 
use  in  softening  feeling.  It  seems  so  strange  that  the  two  men 
most  opposed  to  each  other  (for  Oxford  has  made  no  protest)  on 
the  bench  in  principles  of  government,  interpretation,  church- 
idea — kreis — should  both  be  so,  not  friendly,  but  loving  to  me 
at  this  critical  hour ;  and  should  both  give  me  their  confidence 
so  fully.  It  overwhelms  me  with  the  horror  of  my  unworthiness. 
But  do  pray  for  me  that  I  may  have  some  gifts  of  wisdom  and 
love,  not  for  my  sake,  but  for  the  sake  of  two  such  saints  as  they 
are.  Two  such  holinesses  and  manlinesses  as  they  are,  going 
about  their  work  in  one's  sight,  and  opening  men's  hearts,  do 
indeed  lay  a  burden  on  one,  which  it  is  a  relief  to  open  to  you, 

1  Full  to  bursting,  teeming  with. 

326  LETTERS— CATHEDRAL   WORK  aet.  40 

my  dearest  old  friend.  I  ought  perhaps  to  tell  you  that  Temple 
has  been  working,  in  case  of  Hayman's  withdrawal',  to  have 
Rugby  offered  to  me  from  that  side,  as  before  from  the  Con- 
servative side.  But  I  cannot  help  thanking  God  that  I  am  not 
called  there.  And  now  I  earnestly  hope  that  I  shall  some  way  be 
allowed  to  lay  down  Wellington  College  where  I  feel  my  work — 
in  submission  to  God — to  be  complete,  the  school  full,  organised, 
and  embarked,  and  in  beautiful  temper ;  and  to  go  away  to  some 
Cathedral  to  work  in  what  is  to  my  eyes  the  work  of  the  Church 
for  the  training  of  her  clergy,  now  that  the  Universities  are 
surely  making  us  some  work  to  do,  and  which  training  for  the 
Pastoral  office  has  been  so  abundantly  blessed  in  Vaughan's  work. 
Westcott's  happiness  is  unspeakable.  Would  that  I  could  work 
with  him,  under  him,  near  him.  The  ancient  dream  about  a 
Canonry  becomes  now  a  desire  for  earnest  work,  and  not  for 
arches  and  nutsic. 

Your  ever  loving, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

Pray  write  to  me  from  Rome,  and  tell  me  something  objective 
as  well  as  subjective. 

To  Miss  S.    WordszvortJi. 

Well.  Coll. 
Jan.  30,  1870. 

Imprimis,  my  "  solitude  "  is  peopled  with  shadows.  You  can't 
think  how  gorgeously  Wm.  Alnwick's^  train  sweeps  by — how  Dean 
Mackworth^  scowls  and  shrinks — how  the  Canons  and  Vicars 
troop  in  to  their  Hours — how  the  Prebendaries  work—zxA  how 

1  Dr  Hayman  succeeded  Dr  Temple  at  Rugby.  He  was  removed  from  the 
Headmastership  in  Dec.  1873.  Dr  Hayman  sought  the  aid  of  the  Court  of 
Chancery  :  Vice-Chancellor  Malins  expressed  himself  strongly  on  the  injustice 
with  which  he  considered  Dr  Hayman  to  have  been  treated,  but  held  that  the 
court  could  not  over-ride  the  decision  of  the  Governors. 

^  William  Alnwick  was  Bp  of  Lincoln  1436 — 1449.  He  endeavoured  to 
codify  the  Consifeiiidines  of  Lincoln  in  a  book  called  the  Noviun  Registrum, 
but  this  document  never  received  legal  sanction.  The  Latidnm  of  Alnwick 
was  his  judgment  on  certain  disputed  points  between  the  Dean  and  Chapter. 

^  Mackworth  was  Dean  of  Lincoln  1412 — 1451,  and  successfully  resisted 
Alnwick's  attempts  at  innovation :  they  were  at  daggers  drawn  to  the  end  of 
Alnwick's  Episcopate.     See  p.  278,  note. 


certain  other  shadows,  whose  substances  are  yet  on  earth,  cross 
them  with  faces  not  less  earnest  after  all  things  high  and  good — 
and  how  I  seem  to  see  the  associations  of  solitary  men  of  old 
succeeded  by  men  not  less  devout  and  not  less  serviceable,  and 
far  more  happy  associations  of  devoted  families.  The  same 
towers  and  arches  watch  them  all,  as  the  cell  expands  into  the 

?  In  our  days  ?     In  the  mount  of  the  Lord  it  shall  be  seen. 

But  to  come  to  substantial  tenants  of  my  vicinity.  Isn't 
there  the  Fat  Fred  ?  Isn't  there  the  Bendy  Maggie  ?  Isn't  there 
the  Manageress  Nellie  ?  You  should  have  seen  her  coming  in  with 
her  hat  and  omnibus-driver's  coat  to  me  in  my  armchair  this 
afternoon  to  take  me  out  for  a  walk.  I  said  "  Shall  I  go  to  sleep 
or  shall  I  go  for  a  walk  ?  I'm  so  sleepy — I  think  I  must  go  to 
sleep ! "  The  old-world  gravity  and  solidity  with  which  she 
said  "  You  had  better  come  out  with  me — if  you  go  to  sleep  now, 
by-and-bye  you'll  say,  '  I  can't  do  without  some  exycise ' — and 
then  you'll  be  going  out  for  exycise  just  at  five  o'clock  when  I 
shall  want  you  to  come  up  for  tea."  Imagine  how  I  shook 
myself  and  got  my  coat  and  hat ! 

Horror!  12.35  a.m. — p.  31  just  finished  of  "Cathedral  Life 
and  Cathedral  Work  "  by  a  Prebendary.  What  do  you  think  of 
this  for  a  motto  : 

A  lion  creeping  nigher 
Glares  at  one  that  nods  and  winks  behind  a  slowly  dying  fire^ 

Do  you  see  ?  suppression  approaches  !  and  Dean  Jeremie  &c. — 
oh  !  good  night. 

To  Dr  Light  foot,  on  the  Memorial  volume  to  Bishop  Lee: 
my  father  s  memorial  Sermoji  CAAniCEl  was  printed 
together  luith  biographical particjilars  and  remijiiscences 
by  former  pnpils  in  a  small  volume  bearing  the  title 
of  the  Sermon. 

Wellington  College. 

24  Feb.  1870. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

I  hope  you  will  approve  the  alterations  I  made.  The 
Tolerance  part  I  have,  in  deference  to  you  and  Westcott,  re- 
written.    I  thought  your  own  suspicion  of  an  apparent  untruth- 

*  Locksley  Hall. 

328  LETTERS— BISHOP    MACKARNESS         aet.  40 

fulness  conclusive  as  to  the  advisability  of  modifying  it.  But 
when  I  think  of  his  affection  for  my  Unitarian  uncle'  and 
Dr  Russell,  and  how  he  has  often  said  to  me  "Your  uncle 
at  Bolton  is  a  good  man,  a  very  good  man — I  wish  he  was 
with  us.  Only  such  a  man  can  never  really  be  against  us.  He 
is  one  of  the  best  clergymen  in  my  Diocese,"  I  could  but  feel 
that  my  own  horizon  of  charity  had  been  indefinitely  extended 
by  him. 

But  I  hope  that  now  I  may  have  done  justice  without 
offence — praised  him  really  more,  and  provoked  others  less.  I 
am  glad  to  see  by  your  Speech  to-day  in  the  Guardian  that 
"  Bishops  are  only  units."  Professors  are  tens — and  Professors 
who  have  declined  Bishoprics  are  hundreds.  This  I  shall  bring 
out  in  ??iy  next  speech.  But  I  look  on  yours  in  the  University  as 
a  kind  of  Daniel  in  Babylon. 

Yours  ever  affectionately, 

E.  W.  Benson, 

What  do  you  think  of  Temple  now?  You  posted  me  up  with 
your  opinion  to  the  latest  moment  at  which  you  didn't  know 
what  he  had  done,  viz.  to  the  evening  before  he  made  his 
explanation  so  clearly.  I  am  really  anxious  to  know  what  you 
think.  He  is  very  unhappy,  and  I  feel  as  if  I  had  been  bathing 
among  sea-nettles. 

I  had  a  most  interesting  evening  and  function  with  Tenos 
and  Syra^     How  different  the  point  of  view  is. 

To  Miss  E.  Wordsworth,  on  Bishop  Mackarness^  of  Oxford. 

March  19th,  1870. 
My  dear  Elizabeth, 

We  have  had  our  new  Bishop  here  this  morning. 
He  confirmed  61  boys,  his  first  Confirmation — and  then  we  had 
a  little  stroll,  and  he  lunched  and  went  off  at  3.30. 

He  is  such  a  genuine  man — determined  to  be  plain — and  all 
he  said  was  so  sincere  and  open  to  the  lads.  He  said  he  liked 
it  very  much  and  liked  them,  and  that  their  faces  made  him  feel 

1  Franklin  Baker,  a  Unitarian  minister  at  Bolton. 

2  The  Greek  Archbishop,  who  had  visited  the  Bishop  of  Lincoln.    See  p.  296. 
•'  Successor  of  Samuel  Wilberforce,  translated  to  Winchester. 

I870  LETTERS— DR    MEYER  329 

that  he  knew  what  he  might  say  to  them — and  this  came  out  I 
think  in  his  looks  and  words.  So  altogether  I  thank  God  for 
him  very  much.  The  truth  in  his  look  struck  everyone  who  has 
spoken  to  me — and  he  seemed  to  take  kindly  to  the  place — and 
altogether  I'm  so  happy. 

We've  just  come  in  from  a  walk  to  look  at  our  poor  little  dead 
boy's  ^  grave — such  a  sweet  spot — and  oh  dear  !  it  is  an  achy  little 
life  that  has  passed  away  and  left  no  memorial.  But  "nothing 
lost,"  what  a  mystery  !  He  has  begun  an  education  for  which 
we  are  not  ready.  How  vast  the  progress  to  him  of  one  short 
week.  Commonplaces  are  the  only  things  worth  saying,  so 
forgive  them. 

You  don't  know  how  grumbly  we  are  beginning  to  get  over 
dinner.  The  silence  is  constantly  broken  with  "  Oh  !  if  only  one 
of  them" — " only  on^V  you'll  say. 

To  Miss  E.    Wordsworth,  on  the  death  of  his  friend  Dr 
Meyer,  Superintendent  of  Broadmoor  Asylum. 

May  II,  1870. 

What  a  delightful  time  at  Riseholme !  It  is  vain  to  try  to 
tell  you  how  "nice"  it  was  to  see  you  all  so  quietly,  with 
neither  visitors  nor  candidates.  It  was  such  a  refreshment,  I 
don't  mean  a  mere  rest,  but  a  refrigeriu7n — and  the  short  but 
full  talks  with  the  Bishop  filled  one  with  new  hopes  and  new 
visions  too  of  work  for  the  Church  such  as  has  not  been.  When 
to  begin  ?  and  who  will  be  called  ?  Yet  it  is  begun — and  I 
suppose  will  not  commence  with  observation  and  a  clap  of 
thunder.  Is  it  not  a  great  sign  of  the  divinity  within  her,  that 
she  does  grow  younger  instead  of  older — and  that  as  men  who 
serve  and  love  her  themselves  grow  older,  their  hopes  of  her  grow 
younger  and  brighter  ? 

Best  not  to  rhapsodize. 

You  know  how  terrible  a  shock  we  have  had  in  the  death  of 
our  friend  Dr  Meyer.  Now  he  is  gone  one  knows  what  it  was 
to  have  close  to  one  such  a  four-square  strength  of  simplicity  and 
experience  and  affection.  But  the  desolation  of  his  house  is  too 
terrible.  I  believe  you  think  I  am  too  hard,  or  too  cool,  or  too 
content,  or — I  won't  use  any  particular  adjective  which  you  might 

^  George  Edward  Alban,  d.  at  Well.  Coll.  March  n,  1870,  aged  13  years, 
buried  in  Sandhurst  Churchyard. 

330  LETTERS   TO    MISS   WORDSWORTH     aet.  40-41 

object  to — about  deaths  which  are  not  an  immediate  blow  to 
myself.  But  I  cannot  think  why  all  one's  life  should  be  trying 
to  think  of  death  as  the  Gate,  and  then  be  distracted  when  it 
opens.  I  see  this,  that  there  are  some  forms  even  of  very 
devotional  religion  which  leave  people  nevertheless  all  weakness 
to  face  it — (Your  own  views  and  feelings  are  in  no  way  like  those 
I  mean.  I  mean  "  ritualistic  "  hopes  and  comforts  for  want  of  a 
better  word) — the  facing  of  which  is  one  chief  lesson  of  ours.  I 
grieve  more  than  I  can  say  to  think  of  things  which  I  have  heard 
as  the  sayings  and  doings  of  those  whom  I  conceived  to  be  armed 
against  unchristian  sorrow.  It  shakes  me  very  much  to  think 
what  one  may  one  day  be  in  the  lack  of  the  armour  in  which 
one  trusts.     It  has  been  a  most  painful  week. 

The  country  round  here  is  on  days  like  these  simply  ravish- 
ing— ravishing.  Minnie  has  been  very  busy  with  the  poor 
afflicted  Meyers,  and  Annie  Sidgwick^  has  been  my  little  walking 
companion — lithe  and  blithe,  and  you  never  saw  such  distances, 
such  browns  and  purples  and  greens  on  heather  and  wood — such 
lights.  I  have  often  wished  for  you  by  the  half  hour  together. 
Another  thing  the  doctor  has  done  to  lessen  my  available  time 
is  to  insist  on  walks. 

Love  to  the  other  Soeur  in  residence,  and  kiss  the  hands 
of  the  Abbess  and  mitred  Abbot  of  Ste.  Anastasie^ 

To  Miss  E.    Wordszuorth,  on  the  Mosaics  in 
Wellington  College  Chapel. 

19  May^  1870. 
Mv  DEAR  Elizabeth, 

The  St  Hugh^  is  come — most  effective  and  noble. 
Perry  says  it  is  far  the  best  of  all  the  heads,  which  is  saying 
a  good  deal.     The  Carthusian  frock  is  beautiful. 

^  Daughter  of  Robert  Sidgwick,  of  Skipton,  and  now  wife  of  Stephen 
Marshall,  of  Skelwith  Fold,  Ambleside. 

^  ifiV^holme— di/dcrratrts.     See  p.  19 1. 

3  Hugh  of  Avalon  was  Bishop  of  Lincoln  from  11 86  to  1200.  He  entered 
the  Grande  Chartreuse  and  took  the  vows  soon  after  ri6o.  His  day  in  the 
Calendar  is  Nov.  17.  Another  Hugh  (of  Wells)  was  through  the  instru- 
mentality of  King  John  made  Bishop  of  Lincoln  in  1209,  while  the  story  of 
the  murder  by  the  Jews  of  a  third  Hugh  of  Lincoln  will  be  remembered 
by  readers  of  early  ballads. 

1870-1871  LETTERS— CHAPEL   MOSAICS  331 

The  Cyprian  too  is  beautiful,  a  wistful  old  in-gathering  kind 
of  face.  I  have  the  honour  of  enclosing  etc.  Do  you,  if  you 
can,  convey  to  St  Hugh's  successor  something  of  the  pride  and 
pleasure  it  is  to  have  his  gift  shrined  in  our  Chapel  for  ever — and 
I  hope  you  feel  all  we  feel  about  the  thankofifering  for  Whitby 
which  our  joint  gift  is. 

The  series,  so  far  as  it  is  complete,  is  thrilling  to  me. 
The  solemn  serious  eyes  seem  to  look  through  me.  St  John 
follows  one  about  with  his  eyes.     The  face  is  most  sweet. 

"Et  in  Unam  Sanctam  Catholicam  Ecclesiam,  Communionem 
Sanctorum" — while  the  Nicene  Creed  is  chanting  itself,  with  all 
these  brightnesses  gazing  round  one,  it  seems  as  if  the.  Communion 
of  Saints  did  really  roll  a  wavelet  up  against  the  Chapel  walls. 

Your  ever  affectionate, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  Canon    Westcott^  on  the  sceptical  view  of  miracles. 

My  DEAR  Westcott, 

A writes  to   say  how   deeply   impressed   he   is 

with  Ammergau,  but  adds  that  he  is  more  convinced  than  ever 
of  the  complete  severance  between  the  Thaumaturgic  and  the 
really  impressive  part  of  our  Lord's  life.  It  is  strange  to  see  how 
people  see  in  everything  that  which  is  in  their  own  eyes  and  head, 
but  it  is  another  argument  against  such  representations.  Of  course 
the  Suva/Acts '  {without  which  our  Lord's  life  is  wholly  unintelligible 
to  me)  never  could  have  any  reality  except  in  the  fact,  and  cannot 
be  represented  at  all. 

Yours  ever  affectionately, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  Professor  Lightfoot,  on  his  own  nomination  as  Select 
Preacher,  before  the  University  of  Cambridge. 

11  June,   1 87 1. 
Mv  DEAR  Lightfoot, 

I  need  not  say  what  two  men's  smooth  hands  I 
recognise  under  the  Vice-Chancellor's  hairy  gloves  in  the  Select 
Preachers  nominations. 

^  Manifestations  of  power — miracles. 

332         LETTERS— MR  GLADSTONE      aet.  42 

But  if  you  thrust  this  greatness  on  me,  you  must  with  it  give 
a  tibicen^  to  prop  me  up,  and  no  tettids  one  will  serve. 

What  kind  of  subject  ought  I  to  take — and  can  you  give  me 
a  little  counsel  in  other  ways  ? 

I  always  looked  on  the  others  which  I  preached  as  quite 
wrongly  cast  somehow,  yet  not  for  want  of  taking  pains. 

Can  you  mention  anyone  who  would  do  for  my  brother 
Chaplain  at  Lincoln  ?     It  is  an  important  thing  in  that  Diocese. 

I  sent  you  all  the  Globes — I  hope  they  did  not  miss  you. 
But  you  pluralists  are  so  hard  to  shoot  upon  the  wing. 

We  had  a  most  amusing  Speech  Day  though  the  report  was 
so  bald.  The  all-hated  French  painter.  Baron  Gudin",  praised  the 
Duke  in  touching  terms  on  the  anniversary  of  the  Battle  of 
Waterloo.  We  had  a  famous  sparring  about  our  Latin  pro- 
nunciation. Lord  Talbot  de  Malahide^  emphatically  denouncing 
c  for  k  as  "wrong,"  the  Bishop  of  Hereford^  declaring  he  "had 
better  leave  the  world,"  and  Gleig  stoutly  defending  us.  It  was 
very  amusing.  Also  an  old  Waterloo  soldier  was  found  crying 
at  the  Duke's  Bust,  aged  82. 

Your  affectionate, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  Miss  E.    Wordsworth. 

14 ////y,  1 87 1. 
Dearest  Elizabeth, 

Last  Sunday  I  had  a  singular  and  interesting  change. 
I  went  to  Windsor  to  preach  to  the  Queen  and  saw  something  of 
and  timch  admired  Mr  Gladstone.  His  eyes  alone  afford  sufficient 
reason  for  his  being  Prime  Minister,  and  we  talked  of  anything 
and  everything  (except  Cathedrals),  as  if  he  had  not  another 
thought  in  his  mind  except  to  know  all  the  knowable  in  literature. 
Court  is  a  formidable  atmosphere  no  doubt,  only  peculiar  circum- 
stances could  flourish  there,  but  they  have  a  peculiar  grace  of 
their  own. 

Your  ever  affectionate, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

'  A  buttress.     "Nos  urbem  colimus  tenui  tibicine  fultam,"  Juv.  III.  193. 
*  Theodore,  Baron  Gudin,  marine  painter,  b.  1802,  d.  1880. 
•''  John,  4th  Lord  Talbot  de  Malahide,  sometime  President  of  the  Royal 
Irish  Academy. 
■•  James  Atlay. 

1871-1872  VISIT   TO   STONYHURST  333 

The  following  is  an  interesting  account  of  a  visit  paid 
to  Stonyhurst  in  1872;  his  old  friend  and  schoolfellow, 
Father  Purbrick,  being  Rector. 

Tuesday,  Ja7i.  gth,  1872. 

Yesterday  after  a  long  tiring  journey  I  arrived  at  Stonyhurst. 
It  was  too  dark  to  see  my  route  from  Whalley  but  we  were  going 
up  hill  all  the  way.  It  rained  vehemently.  I  began  to  read 
Cyprian's  De  Lapsis  as  I  left  Birmingham  by  L.N.W.  and  finished 
it  with  the  last  flicker  of  my  reading  lamp  as  I  neared  the  College 
and  saw  its  lights. 

My  welcome  from  my  dear  old  school-fellow,  Father  Purbrick, 
the  Rector  of  the  College,  was  most  warm  and  affectionate.  We 
had  not  met  for  24  years ;  about  August  1848  I  saw  him  last,  and 
it  was  in  my  first  term  at  Trinity  that  I  heard  that  he  had  left 
Christ  Church,  which  he  entered  at  the  same  time,  to  join  the 
Church  of  Rome.  He  is  quite  the  same  in  figure  and  outline 
and  turn  of  expression  as  ever.  He  has  a  wonderfully  delicate 
self-governed  look,  but  this  he  always  had,  as  well  as  the  quiet 
dignity  of  self-possession  in  expressing  without  awkwardness  any 
opinion,  so  that  I  cannot  say  that  I  see  much  change  or  much  to 
attribute  to  his  profession.  He  wears  his  cassock  and  a  sort  of 
unbecoming  sleeveless  gown— grey  socks  and  slippers  made  his 
humanity  very  cosy  and  close — and  as  we  sat  in  large  heavy  old  oak 
chairs  with  our  feet  over  a  blazing  fire,  it  seemed  as  if  24  years 
were  rolled  back  and  we  were  sitting  as  once  we  sat  in  my  study, 
night  after  night,  at  school,  talking  the  talk  which  after  all  more 
than  anything  has  made  him  what  he  is  and  me  what  I  am. 
We  were  instantly  deep  in  the  reminiscences  of  walks,  talks,  and 
old  school-fellows — and  it  was  most  strange  that  nearly  all  the 
first  we  talked  over  were  just  those  whom  in  my  bede-roll  night 
and  morning — or  in  all  once  a  day  I  have  prayed  for — "Lightfoot, 
Pearse,  Purbrick,  Moore,  Wickenden,  Hutchinson,  Ellis,  Westcott, 
Thompson  " — when  I  told  him  this  it  struck  me  too  that  he  replied 
that  he  had  always  prayed  similarly  for  me  and  especially  in  his 
moments  at  the  Altar  since  he  was  a  priest.  I  wish  to  forget 
none  of  our  talk.  What  a  24  years  it  has  been — how  simple  has 
been  my  own  life— education  ended  at  23  and  the  teaching  of 
others  rudiments  ever  since. 

This    morning   (Tuesday)    I    was    awakened  by   the    servant 

334  STONYHURST  aet.  41 

(I  found  afterwards  that  it  was  the  Rector)  coming  into  the  room 
with  "  Deo  Gratias  it  is  half  past  six  "  (Jesuits  say  "  Deo  Gratias  " 
and  answer  "  Deo  Gratias  "  in  a  morning — others  have  the  first 
salutation  "  Benedicamus  Domino  ")•  I  dressed  and  was  taken  by 
a  "  Philosopher  "  as  he  amusedly  said  he  was  called,  to  a  "  tribune  " 
close  to  the  high  Altar  where  I  saw  my  dear  old  friend  (who  used 
to  pray  with  J.  B.  L.  and  J.  F.  W.  and  me  in  my  "  private  Chapel ") 
come  in  and  sing  Mass.  It  being  in  the  Octave  of  the  Epiphany 
there  was  scarcely  anything  in  which  I  could  not  affectionately 
join.  The  Mass  is  a  wonderfully  strong  statement  against  Tran- 
substantiation,  and  all  that  does  offend  me  offends  me  so 
powerfully  that  it  seems  not  to  colour  the  rest :  and  all  the 
Scriptures  in  honour  of  the  day  are  noble. 

After  Service  he  dropped  on  his  knees  and  said  one  Pater  and 
three  Aves  for  the  Pope.  It  is  thus  that  one  suddenly  pulls  up  to 
wonder  if  we  are  beings  of  the  same  sphere.  So  after,  we  passed 
through  a  sort  of  cloister  dimly  lighted,  with  fathers  and  boys  on 
their  knees  before  an  image  with  a  little  light  before  it,  "to  which" 
(Father  Purbrick  afterwards  told  me)  "  the  boys  have  here  a  special 
devotion."  Think  of  the  Wellington  College  or  Birmingham  boys 
transformed  into  this  ! 

I  was  amazed  to  hear  this  baseless  nonsense,  this  mathematics 
applied  to  things  eternal,  gravely  poured  out  by  an  honest  believing 
gentleman.  And  so,  when  the  Rector  told  me  that  it  was  disputed 
whether  the  value  of  a  Mass  was  infinite,  and  so  capable  of  ad- 
mitting any  number  of  intentions — or  whether  it  was  finite,  (since, 
though  Christ's  Sacrifice  was  infinite  in  merit,  yet  the  Commemo- 
rative Sacrifice  was  of  a  certain  value  known  to  God)  and  hence 
concluded  that  it  was  held  safest  to  pray  only  in  one  intention, 
and  to  say  of  any  other  "  provided  that  it  does  not  interfere  with 
the  first  intention,"  the  singularity  of  the  confessions  and  the  sim- 
plicity of  the  faith  were  alike  wonderful. 

Wednesday,  Jan,  10,  1872. 

I  forgot  to  say  that  I  was  at  early  mass  this  morning — the 
same  mass  as  yesterday  and  very  beautiful,  especially  the  three 
prayers.  But  afterwards  I  went  and  sat  in  the  Church  and  went 
through  our  own  Morning  Prayer  with  the  Psalms  and  Lessons 
and  felt  that  it  was  a  fresher  life,  a  brighter  hope,  a  truer  devotion. 
I  hate  using  hard  words,  but  if  superstition  means  the  holding  fast 
with  blind  eyes  to  that  which  has  no  meaning  in  itself,  and  if  there 

i872  LETTER   TO    FATHER   PURBRICK  335 

is  no  part  of  things  divine  which  is  without  meaning  in  itself,  as 
well  as  in  connection  with  larger  truths,  then  it  is  superstition  to 
have  been  driven  to  this  lonely  eating,  this  whispered  consecration, 
this  self-edifying  reading  of  what  was  the  food,  the  blessing,  the 
instruction  of  the  whole,  and  now  not  to  wish  to  spread  it  out 
again  to  a  more  receptive  age,  but  to  maintain  it  as  better  than 
what  it  has  superseded,  and  with  this  to  hold  every  web  of  false 
logic  as  a  vital  consequence  of  the  primary  fictions.  The  sight 
and  company  and  converse  on  many  dear  things  of  my  dear  friend 
is  more  delightful  than  I  can  say  ;  I  walk  beside  him  and  feel  that 
his  faith  and  mine  put  no  barrier  between  us  in  love.  And  then 
suddenly  he  says  something  that  would  incline  me  to  say  "  are  you 
ill  ?  "  so  completely  it  seems  to  belong  to  a  world  where  reasoning 
is  mere  sequence  of  words  and  the  Bible  has  another  Gospel  in  it. 

To  Father  Purbrick,  S./.,  Rector  of  StonyJmrst. 

Wellington  College. 

17  Jan.  1872. 
My  dear  Purbrick, 

I  cannot  be  happy  enough  that  I  made  my  expedition, 
nor  grateful  enough  to  you  for  your  fresh  affectionate  kindness, 
nor  joyful  enough  to  have  taken  up  the  threads  of  our  dear 
school-fellowship.     That  is  the  principal  thing  in  my  mind. 

And  then  to  see  such  extraordinary  interest  grouped  and 
turning  round  one  so  dear  an  old  friend,  would  have  been 
sufficiently  moving  if  he  had  been  ever  so  much  changed,  but 
unchanged  as  you  are,  what  more  dear  delightful  thing  could 
happen  to  one  ? 

I  hope  you  won't  object  to  sentiment  so  far,  for  indeed  it 
would  be  unreal  (and  what  commonly  is  called  sentimental)  to 
the  last  degree  to  omit  it. 

What  strangely  large  floods  of  ideas  one  sometimes  comes 
across.  My  breath  was  quite  taken  away.  And  I  am  afraid 
of  forgetting  any  of  our  talks  and  any  of  our  walks.  I  mean 
to  read  the  Exercitia  with  intense  care  and  wish  only  I  could 
have  the  advantage  of  some  of  your  comments  and  elucidations. 

There  is  many  a  problem  of  boy  nature  I  should  like  to 
discuss  with  you,  but  I  really  think  your  boys  are  different 
from  ours. 

I  am  sending  three  small  pamphlets.     If  they  are  not  admissible 

336         LETTERS   TO    FATHER   PURBRICK     aet.  ^2  [44] 

pray  destroy  them.     Perhaps  Father  Kingdon  may  like  to  see 
the  Roll. 

And  now  pray  do  not  let  the  resumed  threads  drop  again. 
Do  make  an  effort  to  come,  and  if  I  can't  show  you  as  much 
of  interest  as  you  have  about  you,  still  there  is  that  which  I 
think  would  interest  you,  though  in  so  very  different  a  way. 

Ever  yours  affectionately, 

E.  W.  Benson, 

May  I  beg  kind  remembrances  to  all  who  were  so  kind  to  me? 

A  later  letter  to  Father  Purbrick,  acknowledging  a 
photograph  of  Stonyhurst,  may  be  given  here : 

The  Chancery,  Lincoln. 

Aug.  22,  1873. 


Thank  you  for  your  beautiful  present.  I  shall  value 
it  excessively,  and  always  look  on  it  with  a  strange  interest  for 
its  own  sake,  and  love  it  as  your  home.  Its  solidity,  its  beautiful 
surroundings,  and  its  somewhat  stern  lines  speak  to  me  and  tell 
me  we  want  discipline  in  our  Church,  and  know  not  how  to 
obtain  it.  But  this  morning  I  have  been  reading  a  very  long 
and  interesting  letter  from  a  late  Wesleyan  which  seems  to  cry 
aloud  against  the  idea  of  discipline,  and  makes  me  feel  that  that 
body  is  full  of  coherence  on  terms  of  submission  to  the  general 
hard  voice  expressed  by  Conference,  but  that  the  very  terms  on 
which  they  subsist  are,  that  there  shall  be  no  individual  rule, 
or  graduated  subordination.  We  must  be  "  Colleagues "  not 
"  Curates "  is  the  exclamation  of  their  youngest  minister. 

Your  ever  loving  friend, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  Dr  Light  foot,  on  Confession  at  school. 

fiine  4,  1872. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

I  should,  for  myself,  find  it  impossible  to  vote  for 
a  Master,  however  excellent  in  other  ways,  who  practised,  or 
even  wished  to  practise,  the  taking  of  confessions  from  the 
boys  whom  he  had  to  teach. 

Quite  apart  from  the  general  question  of  Confession  as  a  part 


of  Church  Discipline — I  should  say  that  the  relations  between 
Instructor  and  Pupil  ought  not  to  be  crossed  by  knowledge  which, 
according  to  the  theories  of  the  same  religious  school,  Husbands 
ought  not  to  have  of  Wives,  nor  Fathers  of  Children. 

The  trials  which  rise  between  some  pupils  and  some  masters 
are  such  that  an  inner  knowledge  of  the  boy's  life  (motives  and 
weaknesses)  would  infinitely  complicate  them.  If,  in  pointing 
out  to  a  boy  perpetually  recurring  faults,  the  master  could  always 
refrain  from  allusion  to  what  he  knew  otherways,  the  boy  would 
not  think  he  did.  It  is  better  for  a  Teacher  to  have  a  broad  view 
of  his  boys  and  make  allowances  for  them,  than  a  deep  one,  and 
be  always  exercising  spiritual  direction  openly  or  covertly.  I  can 
fancy  nothing  more  hopeless  than  the  position  of  a  somewhat 
unsatisfactory  boy  with  a  Master's  eye  fixed  on  him  micro- 
scopically always.  Many  a  boy's  character  is  tnade,  hopefulness 
and  strength  begun,  through  his  having  a  fresh  start  with  someone 
who  does  not  know  the  worst,  and  so  gives  him  a  clear  field. 

As  a  matter  of  experience  I  think  that  in  places  where 
confession  does  exist,  the  Confessor  or  Chaplain  is  a  different 
man — not  a  master. 

It  is  so  certainly  in  Jesuit  "  Sodalities  "  which  existed  in  all 
great  schools.  There  each  boy  chooses  his  own  confessor.  Even 
though  the  Sodality,  or  religious  association,  of  the  older  boys  has 
its  Director,  who  is  7iot  a  master  in  the  school,  still  boys  are  not 
tied  to  confess  even  to  him,  but  may  go  to  any  Priest  they  like. 
I  fancy  that  in  this  way  the  sins  to  which  Liddon  alludes  are 
fairly  met — that  is  as  regards  the  protecting  of  the  boy  against 
them.  But  with  an  amount  of  enervation,  for  which  we  should 
not  change  even  the  risks  which  accompany  our  efforts  to  guard 
against  them,  by  building  up  so  far  as  we  may  the  whole  character 
in  truthfulness  and  self-restraint. 

I  haven't  alluded  to  the  horrible  dangers  which  ensue  from 
want  of  reality  in  the  confession,  and  these  I  am  told  by 
sober-minded  people  who  have  had  e.xperience,  really  do  exist 
to  a  great  extent. 

I  should  be  very  sorry  to  see  the  choir  of  St  Paul's  under  the 
guidance  of  the  saintliest  of  Confessors  or  Directors — (saintliness 
being  of  tJiat  type) — but  much  more  if  he  were  their  Master  too. 

Yours  ever  affectionately, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

B.  I.  22 

338  LETTERS— DEANERY   OF   LINCOLN       aet.  42 

To  Dr  Lightfoot,  on  the  vacant  Deanery  of  Lincoln  {which 
eventnally  was  offered  to  him). 

Wellington  College,  Wokingham. 

June  20,  1872. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

I  can't  help  thinking  yo2i  are  the  Dean  of  Lincohi. 
"  A  distinguished  Cambridge  man  "  is  a  rumour.  But  your  views 
being  so  sound,  what  bad  management  not  to  have  breakfasted 
with  the  vizier  this  week  !  What  might  have  come  of  it  ?  To  me 
I  own  any  such  work  would  be  a  godsend  now,  however  minuter 
than  the  Dean  of  Lincoln's.  For  though  I  think  the  Pneuma^ 
manages  to  keep  the  bit  between  the  teeth  of  the  Sarx\  yet  the 
Sarx  does  get  fretful  with  the  straightness  of  the  road.  All  the 
more  necessary  for  the  Sarx,  maybe,  but  when  one's  wife  can't 
bear  it  with  the  most  spirited  spirit,  things  look  differently. 

Does  Matthew  Arnold  claim  to  be  the  inventor  of  "  Sweetness 
and  Light "  ?  Because  in  Swift's  Battle  of  the  Books,  that  splendid 
specimen  of  aStKos  Aoyos^  the  bee,  says,  "  We  have  chosen  to  fill 
our  lives  with  honey  and  wax — thus  furnishing  mankind  with  the 
two  noblest  of  things,  siveetness  and  light."  It's  odd  if  that  is  not 
borrowed.     How  modern  it  sounds  in  Swift. 

Ever  yours  affectionately, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  Dr  Lightfoot,  who   had  pressed  071  Mr  Gladstone  the 

name  of  Dr  Benson  as  a  fit  recipient  of  the  Deattery 

of  Lincoln. 

fune  27,  1872. 
My  dear  Lightfoot, 

En  commengant — the  extreme  clearness  of  this  hand- 
writing in  the  superscription  convinces  me  of  the  exceedingly 
serious  state  of  mind  in  which  I  "take  up  my  pen." 

My  mind  on  the  average  says  don't,  but  the  weighty  end  of 
it  says  do  write  and  tell  him  the  semi-stunned  state  of  mind  in 
which  you  subsisted  after  his  talk.  The  fact  is  I  could  not 
yesterday  thank  you  at  all  for  having  in   serious  earnest  taken 

1  The  Spirit— the  Flesh. 

'■^  The  Unjust  Argument — a  character  in  the  Clouds  of  Aristophanes. 

i872  [1875]  LETTERS   ON    TEACHING  339 

such  a  step  towards  realising  what  has  always  seemed  a  half-way- 
to-heavenly  dream. 

Of  course  I  did  not  for  an  instant  guess,  nor  at  first  apprehend 
what  you  had  really  written  about  in  the  first  instance,  which  was 
what  caused  me  to  repeat  the  question.  Of  your  love  and  of 
your  exaggerated  view  of  your  friend,  I  never  doubted ;  but  that 
it  should  in  soberness  of  daylight  take  such  practical  form  fills  me 
with  vain  repentance  about  not  having  lived  a  nobler  life,  at  the 
same  time  that  I  hope  it  stirs  one  for  the  time  to  come. 

It  is  much  more  to  me  that  you,  who  I  think  know  me,  should 
recommend  such  a  step,  than  that  those  who  don't,  whoever  they 
be,  should  confer  the  greatest  honours. 

"That  Thou  do  pluck  up  our  minds  to  heavenly  desyres" 
shall  be  more  my  prayer  after  your  talk  with  me  of  yesterday. 

Anything  interesting  and  communicable  in  your  view  of  the 
Great  Man  Breakfasting? 

Your  affectionate, 

E.  W.  B. 

I  here  subjoin  the  following  letters,  which  are  of  interest, 
as  dealing  with  educational  work,  though  written  at  a  later 
date  from  Lincoln. 

To  CJiristopJic}'  Benso7i,  about  TcacJiing. 

The  Chancery,  Lincoln. 

July  3,  1875- 
My  dear  Chris, 

I  have  no  doubt  you  teach  admirably.  We,  as  a 
family,  have  irritable  nerves  and  must  take  great  pains  to  be 
never  betrayed  into  a  demonstration  of  anger.  It  puts  us  at  a 
disadvantage,  and  a  hot-tempered  boy  writes  home  at  once  in 
strong  language  and  says  he  won't  stay.  It  interferes  with 
teaching,  for  Plato  says  "  The  first  essential  in  teaching  is  dpeaKciv 
— to  give  pleasure."  And  young  people  are  never  receiving 
pleasure  when  they  are  afraid  of  being  scolded 

Your  ever  affectionate  brother, 

E.  W.  Benson. 
22 — 2 

340  LETTERS   ON   TEACHING         [aet.  46-47] 

To  the  Rev.  A.  Iri'ing'^, 

Lyncourt,  Torquay. 

Aug.  22,  1875. 
My  dear  Mr  Irving, 

I  hope  your  work  at  Wellington  will  be  blessed,  and 
effective  and  happy.  There  is  a  very  wise  careful  work  for  Christ 
in  which  all  the  wealth  of  Egypt — modern  science — language — 
and  all  else  is  to  be  wrought  by  Aholiab  and  Bezaleel  for  the 
beauty  of  holiness. 

A  devout  believer  and  a  thinker  may  there,  without  parade 
and  without  attack,  keep  many  a  spirit  true,  which  otherwise  is 
liable  to  be  led  off  by  false  interpretations  and  misrepresentations 
of  things  and  arguments,  of  which  the  first  bearings  are  obscure. 

Excuse  my  preaching — I  know  your  heart  is  in  the  work. 

Ever  sincerely  yours, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  his  old  pupil,  E.  K.  Piirnell,  on  tutorial  work.  Mr 
Purnell  zvas  theji  Tutor  to  the  sons  of  Sir  S alar  Jung ^ 
Chief  Minister  to  the  Nizam  of  Hyderabad^. 

The  Chancery,  Lincoln. 

26  Nov.  1875. 
My  dear  Purnell, 

I  was  very  glad  to  receive  your  news  of  yourself,  and 
I  have  given  a  good  deal  of  thought  to  the  very  important  subject 
of  your  letter.  I  hope  I  may  counsel  what  is  wise,  for  I  know 
you  will  think  much  of  what  I  say  and  it  is  a  difficult  crisis 
for  you. 

Your  position  is  interesting  and  even  commanding.  Your 
relations  to  such  a  person  as  Salar  Jung,  the  employment  of  your 
own  influence  only  for  what  is  straightforward  and  true  and  good, 
when  Europeans  are  charged  with  intrigue  and  self-seeking  all 
round    you,    your    moulding    power    exercised    on    persons    so 

^  Now  Vicar  of  Hockerill,  Herts. 

-  Mr  Purnell  returned  to  England  in  1876,  and  was  appointed  Assistant 
Master  of  Wellington  College  by  Mr  Wickham,  on  Dr  Benson's  recom- 

[1875-1876]  LETTERS   ON   TEACHING  341 

extremely  important  to  the  welfare  of  nations — all  these  things 
are  strongly  on  the  side  of  your  staying  where  you  are. 

It  is  so  great  a  matter  in  these  days  to  be  allowed  to  be  a 
^wcrr>7p  iv  koct/aw^  especially  such  a  world  as  that,  that  to  keep 
Faith  strong,  to  atone  for  the  bad  character  of  many,  to  show 
young  Englishmen  going  out  there  that  it  is  possible  to  be  just 
and  pure-handed,  to  make  the  ideal  of  Englishmen  and  Christians 
a  reality,  seems  to  me  a  noble  vocation.  I  rejoiced  to  think  that 
a  Wellingtonian  is  called  to  it.  You  must  remember  that  these 
things  stand  out  with  a  clearness  to  us  here  which  perhaps  amid 
the  details  of  it  you  miss. 

You  have  other  ties  to  consider  in  which  you  alone  must 
judge.  But  you  ask  my  advice  on  what  seem  to  me  to  be  very 
grand  points,  and  an  English  lady  and  gentleman  cannot  do  what 
you  are  doing  without  some  self-sacrifice.  The  question  is  "  Is  it 
worth  it  ?  "  You  would  have  self-sacrifice  in  England,  but  it  would 
be  of  a  less  fine  nature,  and  for  poorer  ends. 

I  am  ever  your  affectionate, 

E.  W.  Benson. 
To  Christopher  Benson. 

The  Chancery,  Lincoln. 

18  Aug.  1876. 
My  dear  Chris, 

I  hope  you  will  have  a  good  set  of  pupils.  The 
difference  between  them  is  very  odd,  and  the  effect  of  the 
difference  immense;  one  gets  quieter  in  manner  and  tone  as 
one  gets  older  in  teaching,  and  never  gets  angry,  and  this  makes 
all  the  difference  to  one's  effectiveness,  and  one's  influence  and 
one's  store  of  strength. 

I  want  to  send  you  another  little  book  which  will  I  am  sure 
interest  you.  (The  above  written  with  oblivion  of  the  fact  that 
Minnie  had  sent  one  off  on  my  birthday.)  I  send  them  to  give 
an  idea  of  what  I  am  doing.  The  training  of  men  for  the  Priest- 
hood becomes  one  of  the  most  important  questions.  All  the 
Fellowships  and  Scholarships  which  were  founded  to  create  a 
highly  cultivated  clergy,  have  been  secularized  at  both  Univer- 
sities. Openings  to  India,  Civil  Service,  Army,  America,  have 
multiplied  twentyfold.  Parents  are  ambitious  that  their  sons 
should  grow  rich  or  ruling,  and  Scepticism  has  a  havoc  of  its  own. 

^  A  light  in  the  world,   Phil.  ii.   15. 

342  LETTERS    ON   TEACHING  [aet.  47] 

We  want  therefore  both  to  increase  our  powers  of  educating 
the  old  class,  and  to  call  a  new  class  into  existence.  This  is 
a  problem.  The  religious  life  of  the  Universities  is  probably  more 
real,  and  the  Churchmanship  more  diffused  than  it  was — but  the 
shadows  are  darker  too. 

Another  question  is  very  trying.  Just  as  the  Church,  i.e.  the 
laity,  had  woke  up  to  the  Grace  and  wisdom  of  frequent 
Communions,  comes  in  Ritualism  and  its  teachings  of  Fasting 
Communion  and  Non-Communicating  attendance,  and  draws 
religious  people  away  from  what  had  been  so  greatly  blessed. 
In  such  a  movement  one  almost  sees  a  subtle  hand  mingling 
tares  with  wheat. 

Your  ever  loving  brother, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  E.  M.  Oakclcy,  on  his  becoming  a  House  Master 
at  Clifton. 

The  Chancery,  Lincoln. 

26  Feb.  1877. 
Mv  dear  Oakeley, 

Let  me  congratulate  you  on  becoming  a  House 
Master- — -the  importance  of  which  position  is  incapable  of  over 
estimation — almost  every  look,  and  certainly  every  word  known  to 
tell  somewhere : — -and  yet  naturalness  and  absence  of  thinking 
about  effect  felt  to  be  the  very  and  only  condition  of  usefulness. 

One  has  to  fight  and  wrestle  to  get  at  one's  true  self  in 
wonderful  wise,  and  I  can  only  speak  of  my  own  experience  when 
I  say  how  slowly  I  learned  in  practice  (not  in  theory  of  course) 
the  vast  difference  between  communing  with  oneself  and  praying. 
And  I  stood  at  the  end  of  my  Headmastership  where  I  ought  to 
have  stood  at  the  beginning  of  my  School-house  tutorship — taking 
everything  little  and  big  to  God — not  as  a  Parson,  but  as  a  grown 
boy  among  growing  boys. 

I  shouldn't  deserve  the  delightful  affection  of  your  letter, 
which  has  done  me  a  world  of  good,  if  I  did  not  say  thus  much 
about  myself. 

It  will  be  delightful  to  me,  if  ever  I  can — to  stay  under  your 
roof:  may  it  be  a  true  Home,  full  of  blessings  to  you  and  your 

Ever  yours  most  affectionately, 

E.  VV.  Benson. 



"  Oh  let  me,  when  thy  roof  my  soul  hath  hid, 
Oh  let  me  roost  and  tiestle  there/" 

Geo.  Herbert. 

The  friendship  with  the  Wordsworths  of  which  I  have 
spoken  led  to  important  results.    Miss  Wordsworth  writes: 

My  father  (Bishop  Wordsworth  of  Lincoln),  though  con- 
siderably past  sixty,  had  all  the  animation  and  eagerness  of  a 
boy,  and  the  two  together  were  full  of  schemes  for  work  in  the 
diocese,  and  more  especially  for  the  Theological  College  and 
the  "  Scholae  Cancellarii "  as  they  were  appropriately  called. 

To  this  date  belongs  your  father's  article  {Quarterly  Review) 
on  Cathedrals^,  and  a  sermon  "Where  are  the  schools  of  the 
Prophets?"  which  I  find  referred  to  in  a  journal  (May  2nd,  1870) 
as  follows  : — The  faces  of  the  audience  were  the  best  commentary, 
the  men's  especially — we  all  were  delighted,  one  of  my  father's 
comments  being,  '  Well,  you  really  seem  as  if  you  believed  what 
you  were  saying.'  By  his  desire  it  was  called  'Where  are  the 
schools  of  the  Prophets?' 

Dear  old  Chancellor  Massingberd^  (who  had  a  look  of 
Mr  Keble  about  him)  was  most  sympathetic  and  friendly,  but 
his  gentle,  poetical  and  refined  life  was  not  destined  to  be  of  much 
longer  duration.  He  passed  away  in  1872,  taking  with  him 
many  old  memories  and  many  tender  associations  of  bygone  days : 
a  quaint  little  touch  of  conservatism  long  remained  in  the  little 
brass  candlestick  (relic  of  days  before  gas  was  introduced  into 
Lincoln  Minster)  which  at  his  desire  was  left  in  front  of  his  stall. 

^  Vol.  130,  p.  225. 

^  Chancellor  of  Lincoln  from  1862:  author  of  the  //isioiy  of  the  English 
Reformation,  Lata  of  the  Church  and  State,  &c. 

344  OFFER   OF   CHANCELLORSHIP  aet.  43 

The  Bishop  of  Lincoln  thereupon  offered  my  father  the 
vacant  Chancellorship,  and  the  residentiary  Canonry  an- 
nexed to  that  office.  It  will  be  seen  from  the  corre- 
spondence, that  the  Bishop  began  by  attaching  to  the 
offer  certain  conditions  as  to  residence  and  work,  but 
my  father  refused  to  pledge  himself,  and  was  eventually 
appointed  unconditionally. 

From  the  Bishop  of  Lincoln,  offering  him  the  Chancellorship. 

RisEHOLME,  Lincoln. 

9  Dec.  1872. 
My  dear  Benson, 

You  are  aware  that  the  Chancellorship  of  Lincoln 
Cathedral  is  vacant  by  the  death  of  our  dear  friend  Chancellor 

You  will  also,  I  am  sure,  feel  with  me  in  the  deep  sense  I 
have  of  the  solemn  responsibility  under  which  a  person  lies  who 
is  called  upon  to  fill  up  the  vacancy;  and  you  will,  my  dear 
friend,  unite  with  me  in  prayer  that  I  may  be  able  to  discharge 
this  duty  so  as  best  to  promote  the  Glory  of  God,  and  the 
Salvation  of  souls  ;  and  the  good  of  the  Cathedral,  the  City  and 
Diocese  of  Lincoln,  the  Church  of  England,  and  the  Church 

There  are  certain  conditions  which  it  seems  to  me  ought  to 
be  satisfied  by  anyone  who  is  appointed  to  that  Office.  He 
ought  to  devote  himself  wholly  to  it,  and  its  duties,  as  prescribed 
by  the  Statutes,  so  far  as  they  are  not  repealed  :  and  the  more 
so,  inasmuch  as  Cathedral  bodies,  on  account  of  the  reduction 
of  their  numbers,  and  impairment  of  their  powers,  require  now 
more  than  ever  the  entire  devotion  of  those  who  belong  to  them. 

I  could  not,  therefore,  offer  the  vacant  Chancellorship  to 
anyone  who  could  not  engage  to  devote  himself  entirely  to  the 
study  of  Theology,  and  to  the  training  of  Theological  students 
for  the  sacred  Ministry  of  the  Church ;  and  to  the  work  of 
Christian  Education,  especially  in  the  City  of  Lincoln,  according 
to  the  Statutes. 

And  now,  my  dear  Benson,  let  me  add  that  I  have  had  great 
comfort   in    my   personal   connexion    with   you   as    one    of    my 


examining  Chaplains,  and  I  should  be  sorry  to  lose  you  as  a 
Chaplain,  if  I  were  to  gain  you  as  a  Chancellor. 

Might  I  then — asking  you  to  consider  carefully,  as  I  am  sure 
you  will  do,  all  that  I  have  written — request  you  to  let  me  know 
whether,  on  these  terms,  I  may  have  the  pleasure  of  nominating 
you  to  the  Chancellorship  of  Lincoln  Cathedral? 

And  may  God,  of  His  infinite  mercy,  guide  us  aright ! 

Ever,  my  dear  friend. 

Yours  affectionately, 

C.  Lincoln. 

P.S. — I  believe  that  in  the  Consecration  of  the  Holy  Eucharist 
your  use  at  Wellington  differs  from  ours  at  Lincoln  :  but  I  am 
sure  you  would  follow,  in  such  matters  as  this,  the  advice  of 
St  Ambrose,  and  "do  at  Rome  what  they  do  at  Rome." 

To  Bishop    Wordsivorth,  on  the  offer  of  the 
CJiancdlorship  of  Lincoln   Cathedral. 

II  Dec.  1872. 
Mv  DEAR  Bishop  and  Lord, 

I  may  venture  to  ask  a  very  little  while  for  prayers 
and  for  thought  and  for  counsel. 

Two  friends  and  my  dear  wife'  I  must  ask.  But  they  will 
answer  me,  with  prayers  that  God  will  guide  their  advice,  I  know. 
Nothing  however  should  detain  the  expression  of  my  more  than 
gratitude,  and  the  joy  that  even  after  consideration,  and  with 
the  sense  of  solemnity  and  responsibility  as  to  such  appointments 
in  these  ti?nes  which  you,  perhaps  more  than  any  one  in  authority, 
entertain,  you  should  still  think  fit  to  ask  me  to  sit  in  that  con- 
sessus.  This  alone  is  a  Bath  koP,  and  I  hasten  to  say  that  as  to 
the  obligations  which  you  conceive  to  attach  to  the  place,  there  is 
not  one  of  them  that  I  should  not  ex  corde  atque  animo  embrace, 

'  My  mother  was  away  in  Germany  for  her  health. 

^  Bath  kol,  '■'•fiUa  vocis,^'  was  an  expression  used  by  Rabbinical  writers  to 
denote  a  species  of  revelation  ranking  lower  than  the  revelation  of  prophecy, 
and  granted  in  the  place  of  prophecy,  when  the  ancient  prophetical  spirit 
ceased.  E.  W.  B.  was  no  doubt  alluding  to  the  Select  Discotirses  of  John 
Smith  (the  Cambridge  Platonist),  who  has  a  short  discourse  on  Bath  kol  ;  v. 
the  ed.  of  1857,  Cambridge  Univ.  Press,  pp.  -268 — 271.  It  is  used  herein 
the  sense  of  a  special  inspiration  vouchsafed  to  an  individual  at  a  crisis. 

346  CHANCELLORSHIP   OF   LINCOLN         aet.  43 

and  describe  as  the  proper  investments  of  such  duties.     However 
on  this  I  will  write  more  fully,  when  I  feel  that  I  can. 

1  think  I  have  told  you  how  "  to  be  a  Canon  "  was  a  dream 
of  mine,  as  much  as  it  ever  was  of  Mabillon's\  and  from  an 
earlier  age,  for  Lichfield"  Cathedral  was  my  St  Remy.  But  now 
this  beautiful  place  and  this  "  Beautiful  Flock  "  seem  to  be  more 
oneself  than  oneself  is.  Still  I  have  long  thought  my  work  for 
boys  was  nearing  its  conclusion.  Though  I  have  long  ceased  to 
pray  for  any  future  except  that  it  might  be  one  of  God's  choice 
for  me — and  so  in  all  the  work  I  have  hitherto  had,  I  have  never 
been  a  candidate,  or  competitor,  or  suitor.  I  hope  you  won't 
think  all  this  egoism  out  of  all  order  and  duty — I  only  tell  you, 
my  dearest  Lord,  that  you  may  feel  sure  that  it  is  with  me  as 
you  wish — that  I  desire  to  serve  God  in  God's  way,  and  really  go 
or  stay  as  He  wills.  This  I  ought  to  tell  you — and  I  soon  will 
write  again. 

Ever  your  Lordship's  most  faithful 

and  affectionate  Bedesman, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  Canon    Westcott,  on  being  ojfered  the  Chancellorship 
of  Lincoln. 
Private.  Dec.  10,  1872. 

My  dear  Westcott, 

I  have  asked  Lightfoot  to  send  you  a  letter  which  I 
have  received  from  the  Bishop  of  Lincoln,  and  I  am  very  anxious 
to  have  your  counsel  upon  it.  Things  look  different  when  seen 
near  from  their  distant  aspect.  And  one  feels  at  last  the 
seriousness  of  what  one  has  spoken  of  lightly. 

As  to  real  fitness,  and  as  to  the  means  of  bringing  up  one's 
family,  I  now  feel  equally  rayless  of  light. 

I  think  I  shotdd  work  at  Theology?  Have  I  grown  too 
restless  and  too  used  to  endless  details  (is  the  question  that  now 
rises)  to  leave  me  a  quiet  student  of  Theology  ? 

Again  as  to  training,  the  men  to  be  trained  have  to  be 
found,  and  their  training  has  to  be  brought  down  from  heaven, 

^  Jean  Mabillon  {\(i},^ — 1707),  the  historian  of  the  Benedictine  order, 
entered  upon  his  novitiate  in  tiie  Abbey  of  St  Remy  in  1653. 

2  Where  his  grandmother  Mrs  Stephen  Jackson  lived. 


for  one  knows  not  what  they  are  Hkely  to  be — or  who — or  what 
influence  one  would  gain. 

My  income,  I  suppose,  would  be  at  once  divided  by  2. 
But  expenditure  would  be  less — ?  Sufficiently  less. 

Is  one  by  the  Law  of  the  Land  at  liberty  to  make  promises  or 
agree  to  conditions,  other  than  those  the  law  requires  ?  Is  not 
any  "promise,  engagement,  or  assurance"  of  the  fiature  of 
"simony,"  a  legal  offence?  Anything  which  ties  the  hands 
more  than  the  Laws  tie  men?  I  never  should  take  any  prefer- 
ment either  in  or  out  of  Lincoln,  without  resigning  this,  but  is 
one  at  liberty  to  promise  it  ? 

The  promise  to  lecture  and  labour  is  quite  another  thing. 
That  is  in  the  Statutes,  and  one  could  not  be  appointed  without 
promising  that — the  only  thing  is  to  obey.  But  an  engagement 
not  to  do  what  you  are  allowed  by  Law  to  do,  is  a  narrowing  of 
the  legal  basis  of  the  office.  Please  give  me  your  judgment — 
and  your  advice — and  pray  "  for  my  intention  "  of  your  charity. 

Ever  your  affectionate, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  Bishop    Wordsworth,  accepting  the  Chancellorship 
of  Lincoln. 

Wellington  College, 

Dec.  12,  1872. 
Mv  dear  Lord, 

My  two  counsellors  in  England  are  of  one  mind,  and 
most  forcible  is  the  expression  of  their  opinion.  My  third  and 
best  counsellor'  is  not  in  England,  but  has  so  always  and  eagerly 
loved  the  every  thought  of  a  Cathedral  home,  that  I  know  I  may 
leave  the  communication  of  that  opinion  to  another  day,  as  the 
expected  letter  has  not  arrived,  and  as  I  have  a  special  reason 
for  wishing  to  write  before  the  end  of  our  term.  If  that  opinion 
is  adverse  to  the  two  others,  I  will  communicate  it  by  telegraph, 
and  I  will  act  upon  it  entirely.  I  know  however  that  the  case  is 
just  this,  that  the  prospect  of  the  constant  sweet  company  of 
friends  so  dear  would  almost  disturb  our  judgment,  if  we  were 
not  so  clear  in  our  judgment  upon  grounds  not  affected  by  that 

I  will  therefore  proceed  at  once  to  put  upon  paper  in  answer 

'  My  mother. 

348  DUTIES   OF   CHANCELLOR  aet.  43 

to  the  heads  of  your  letter,  my  own  view  of  the  life  of  a  Canon 
at  this  time,  and  of  a  Chancellor  of  Lincoln  in  particular. 

I  should,  were  I  in  that  office,  feel  bound  in  the  first  instance 
to  obey  the  Statutes  of  my  Foundation.  They  are  in  force  in 
every  particular  in  which  they  have  not  been  repealed.  I  have 
solemnly  promised  once  to  obey  them,  I  feel  the  obligation  of 
that  engagement,  and  I  am  ready  to  take  it  again.  That  promise 
and  those  Statutes  enjoin  the  holder  of  the  Chancellorship, 
besides  sermons,  residence,  etc.,  the  delivery  of  lectures — "ac- 
tualiter  legere" — at  certain  times,  and  to  this  I  will  add  the 
excellent  comment  of  a  Sacred  Congregation  in  1618,  "Non 
potest  Canonicus  Theologus  se  eximere  ab  explanatione  Scripturae 
praetextu  quod  non  habeat  auditores."  But  they  enjoin  what  is 
yet  more  important,  the  oversight  of  and  personal  interest  in 
questions  and  places  of  education  in  the  Diocese.  Anciently 
he  was  nothing  less  than  a  Diocesan  "  Minister  of  Education." 
Changes  have  put  some  schools  out  of  his  reach,  but  changes 
have  created  new  ones,  and  brought  others  within  his  reach. 
Recent  changes  have  given  the  inspection  of  religious  education 
an  importance  which  has  yet  to  be  developed.  University 
changes  have  made  the  training  of  candidates  for  Holy  Orders 
a  question  for  the  Dioceses.  For  all  these,  and  for  other 
canonical  works  and  educational  influences,  "  Lincoln  is,"  as 
Professor  Westcott  says,  "exceptionally  favourable." 

Again,  the  study  of  Theology  is  especially  his  duty.  The 
statutable  directions  about  Lectures  point  out  that.  And  the 
Statutes,  in  a  very  affecting  sentence,  touch  on  the  proved 
efficiency  of  that  side  of  the  Chancellor's  work.  For  myself 
I  now  give  all  the  poor  shreds  and  savings  of  time  to  Theology, 
and  have  for  years  striven  to  save  moments  for  it,  and  looked  as 
"a  prisoner  of  hope"  to  the  time  when  I  might  fairly  believe  I 
had  done  my  best  for  boys,  and  might  bring  assiduous  habits  and 
better  judgment,  and  free  time  and  attention  to  that  study — ravra 
jxeXerdi',    iv  totjtols  etrai'. 

It  follows  from  this  that  I  am  quite  resolved  in  my  own 
mind,  so  long  as  I  should  hold  such  a  position  (if  it  were 
conferred  on  me)  to  accept  no  other  benefice  or  charge.  You 
are  of  opinion  that  any  such  charge  held  with  the  Chancellorship 
should  not  be  "outside  the  City."  I  should  conceive  that  it 
would  not  be  to  the  advantage  of  the  proper,  distinct,  Cathedral 
^  To  practise  these  things,  to  continue  in  them,  i  Tim.  iv.  15. 


function,  that  any  further  charge  should  be  accepted  at  all.  I 
should  hope  that  you  would  not  press  upon  your  Chancellor 
a  charge  "inside  the  City"  either.  I  should  like  to  look  on 
purely  Canonical  work  as  the  work  in  God's  Church  to  which 
I  should  devote  myself  undistractedly. 

This  is  my  profession  of  Faith.  If  you  exact  a  Promise  I 
could  not  feel  any  scruple  in  making  it,  although  in  law  perhaps 
it  might  not  be  binding,  and  it  seems  that  there  is  a  general 
objection  in  Church  law  to  "any  promise,  engagement,  or 
assurance,"  which  limits  more  than  the  law  does,  the  freedom  of 
those  entering  on  Church  ofifices.  Still,  if  you  exact  the  promise, 
I  will  obey,  although,  since  you  have  perfect  freedom  of  choice, 
and  would  choose  no  one  whom  you  did  not  trust  from  what  you 
already  knew  of  him,  and  since  you  know  me,  and  I  am  sure 
trust  me,  not  now  only  but  for  my  future  life,  I  confess  I  should 
be  a  little  happier  if  you  should  think  fit  to  accept  my  profession 
of  Faith,  and  my  Oath  of  Obedience  to  the  Statutes  and  to  you, 
without  my  entering  into  an  engagement.  I  think  I  should  feel 
more  honest  pride  in  doing  what  I  know  I  should  do,  by  refusing 
any  offer  of  preferment  to  be  held  with  the  Chancellorship,  upon 
the  grounds  of  my  duty  to  the  Church  and  Diocese,  than  if  I 
refused  it  because  of  a  Promise.  I  should  feel  also  more 
independent  in  doing  what  I  hope  we  shall  have  an  opportunity 
of  doing,  viz.  supporting  some  measure  for  the  lengthening  of 
residence  and  exclusion  of  other  preferment  for  all  Canons.  Still 
I  am  in  your  hands. 

Nothing  would  induce  me  to  give  up  the  Chaplaincy.  It  has 
helped  me  in  my  work  here.  It  has  deepened  my  spiritual  life. 
It  has  made  me  see,  and  be  more  tender  to,  the  difficulties  alike 
of  clergy  and  laity.  I  cannot  sufficiently  express  my  sense  of 
the  advantage  I  have,  and  hope  to  have  always,  from  intercourse 
with  you  at  these  times.  And  if  I  am  to  be  really  of  use  in 
education,  the  knowledge  which  it  will  give  me  of  the  clergy 
would  be  most  precious. 

The  Celebration  of  the  Holy  Communion — I  do  not  know 
what  your  Lordship  alludes  to  in  our  Consecration  Use  in  the 
Chapel  here.  I  do  not  stand  before  the  Table,  I  mean  "  in 
front"  of  it.  I  never  did  because  of  the  pain  and  ofTence  it 
might  give  to  some  parental  minds.     Since  the  Judgment'  (though 

^  The  Judgment  of  the  Privy  Council  on  appeal  from  the  sentence  of 
Sir  Robert  Phillimore  pronounced  against  the  Rev.  John  Purchas,  of  Brighton, 

350  DISCIPLINE  aet.  43 

I  regret  it)  I  should  have  thought  myself  a  law-breaker  if  I  had 
stood  in  front,  and  I  have  advocated  obedience  with  others. 

If  it  is  not  this,  but  any  other  thing,  I  can  only  say  generally 
that  as  a  Member  of  a  Consessus  Sacerdotalis,  I  should  feel 
myself  in  a  wholly  different  position  from  that  which  I  now  hold 
at  the  head  of  a  Chapel,  and  that  one  thing  from  which  I  should 
hope  to  derive  great  benefit  in  the  new  position,  is  that  I 
should  be  subject  to  Discipline.  I  hope  I  am  not  "vulgarised 
by  power,"  but  my  power  has  often  been  a  very  great  trial  to  me, 
and  I  look  forward  with  hope  to  a  life  in  which  my  own  will 
would  be  checked ;  and  among  other  regions  of  Discipline,  I 
should  esteem  the  Use  of  Lincoln  one  to  be  "  devote  ac  humiliter 

I  hope  I  have  satisfied  your  Lordship  on  all  points  of  your 
letter.  I  ventured  to  show  it  to  Westcott,  and  he  says,  "Your 
own  view  of  the  Chancellor's  office  exactly  coincides  with  the 
Bishop's,"  and  if  you  are  satisfied,  and  still  propose  to  confer  an 
office  so  holy,  and  so  stimulating  to  zeal  and  thought  and 
hope,  upon  one  who  knows,  and  hopes  that  you  know,  his 
disqualifications,  I  can  only,  with  humble  and  devout  gratitude 
to  our  Blessed  Lord,  look  upon  it  as  my  third,  highest,  and  I 
dare  to  hope,  my  last  call. 

What  can  I  say  besides  of  the  joy  and  peace  and  strength 
which  my  wife,  my  children  and  myself  will  find  in  the  Love  of 
God  shown  us  in  drawing  still  closer  the  filial  and  fraternal 
friendships  of  the  last  four  years. 

Your  Lordship's 

ever  more  faithful  Bedesman, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

P.S.  Would  Heydour  have  to  lose — I  fear  it  would — that 
paternal  exercise  of  jurisdiction  which  has  hitherto  caused  them 
"appetere  commorari"  under  their  present  plenary  rules^  ? 

April  26,  1871.  It  was  decided  that  the  proper  position  for  the  Celebrant 
throughout  the  Communion  Service  was  on  the  North  side,  or  North  end  of 
the  Table  (if  placed  East  and  West)  facing  the  South,  and  not  at  that  part  of 
the  West  side  of  the  Table  which  is  nearest  the  North,  the  object  being  that 
the  people  may  see  him  break  the  Bread  and  take  the  Cup  into  his  hand, 
which  they  cannot  do  if  he  stand  with  his  back  to  the  people,  or  between  the 
people  and  the  Table.  The  Privy  Councillors  present  were  Lord  Chancellor 
Hatherley,  Archbishop  Thomson,  Bishop  Jackson  and  Lord  Chelmsford. 

^  The  meaning  of  this  somewhat  obscure  postscript  is  this.     Dr  Benson 


To  Canon    Wcstcott. 

20  Dec.  1872. 
My  dear  Westcott, 

One  word  to  tell  you  that  I  am  accepting  the  Chan- 
cellorship without  any  conditions  or  stipulations  or  assurances. 

The  Bishop  I  think  clearly  sees  the  disadvantageous  stamp 
which  they  would  affix  to  any  efforts  or  movements  of  mine, 
even  setting  aside  the  question  of  their  perfect  legality, — and  he 
does  not  press  them. 

He  does  not  even  state  them  now  as  wishes  of  his,  but  leaves 
me  perfectly  untrammelled. 

I  am  in  the  deeps  of  examination,  and  I  have  lost  a  very 
dear  pupil,  late  head  of  the  school  \  I  went  from  school  straight 
to  him,  had  a  most  affecting  and  most  joyful  hour  or  two  with 
him  and  gave  him  the  Holy  Communion.  He  passed  away  most 
calmly  a  few  hours  after,  and  other  things  seem  almost  like  the 
clouding  over  of  a  streak  of  heaven. 

Yours  affectionately, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  his   Wife. 

Xmas  Day,  1872. 

7  a.m. 
My  Dearest  Wife, 

I  shall  write  you  but  a  few  lines  because  it  is  Christ's 
birthday,  and  I  find  none  like  one  of  the  ancient  anthems  for  the 

Sanctificamini,  filii  Israel,  dicit  Dominus  : 
Die  enim  crastina  descendet  Dominus, 
Et  au/eret  a  vobis  omnem  lafiguorefu. 

May  He  take  away  at  once  the  sickness  of  your  head,  and  the 
sickness  of  my  heart,  which  is  a  much  worse  evil,  though  alas  ! 
easier  to  bear. 

I  wrote  you  a  letter  yesterday  which  I  hope  you  will  take  in 
good  part.  But  we  choose  holy  poverty  for  our  portion  and  we 
must  not  live  as  if  we  were  in  holy  riches,  or  indulge  in  all  the 

wished  to  ascertain  whether  he  might  retain  his  Prebendal  stall  of  Heydour 
together  with  the  Chancellorship.  Prebendaries  are  exhorted  in  the  Noviwi 
Regist7-iim  so  to  administer  their  prebends  that  the  people  may  desire  to 
continue  (appelant  commorari)  under  his  headship.  See  The  Cathedral,  by 
the  Bishop  of  Tniro,  p.  24. 
^  Henry  Akers. 


amiabilities  of  expenditure.  Everyone  says  the  Mackenzies  are 
"  very  poor,"  yet  he  has  a  living  (and  now  the  suffragan  bishopric) 
over  and  above  what  we  shall  have.  Deo  Gratias,  we  shall  have 
less  responsibility.  The  welcome  of  the  Chapter  and  the  few 
clergy  I  know  in  the  diocese  is  delightful. 

Apparuit  benignitas  et  humanitas  Salvatoris  nostri  Dei,  non  ex 
operibus  justitiae  quae  fecimus  nos,  sed  secundum  misericordiam 
Suam  salvos  nos  fecit. 

Your  loving  husband, 

E.  VV.  Benson. 

To  C.  B.  Hutchinson,  on  accepting  the  ChaticellorsJiip 
of  Lificoln  Cathedral. 

Wellington  College. 

Dec.  28,  1872. 
Mv  DEAR  Hutchinson, 

Thank  you  very  much  for  your  very  kind  letter  full 
of  your  old  friendly  heart. 

I  do  not  know  how  to  describe  the  dreadfulness  of  preparing 
to  leave  this  dearest  place.  No  one  can  ever  know  what  are  the 
infinite  claims  on  one's  devotion  which  it  has,  and  on  one's 
tenderness.     It  is  unique,  though  I  know  Rugby  and  love  it  well. 

It  is  not  a  "blow"  nor  a  "wrench"  nor  a  "tearing"  to  leave 
it.  But  every  time  that  its  reality  comes  to  one,  about  every 
quarter  of  an  hour,  a  shower  of  little  sparks  seem  to  shoot  through 
one's  chest. 

The  work  before  me  is  full  of  great  delight.  You  used  to 
chaff  me  ages  ago  about  being  born  to  be  a  Canon.  And  it  is 
quite  true  that  it  is  to  me  an  ideal. 

I  can't  forsake  this  ideal  when  it  presents  itself,  and  I  think 
with  Westcott  and  Lightfoot  that  Lincoln  is  exceptionally  favour- 
able for  attempts  to  renew  the  Cathedral  life  of  England.  I  wish 
you  would  make  a  little  petition  daily  to  the  Father,  that  He 
would  grant  me  some  portion  in  the  work  of  restoring  it  as  a 
precious  half-lost  inheritance  of  the  Church.  I  ask  it  because 
morning  and  evening  I  never  fail  to  mention  you  in  my  prayers, 
and  never  have  failed. 

Your  ever  affectionate  friend, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

Best  wishes  and  remembrances  of  the  sweet  and  holy  season 
to  you  all. 

i872  ATTITUDE   OF   THE    GOVERNORS  353 

It  seems  strange  to  a  student  of  the  annals  of  Wellington 
College  that  the  unparalleled  success  of  the  school,  its 
remarkable  and  rapid  acquisition  of  prestige,  and  the 
efficiency  of  its  discipline  never  seemed  to  convince  a 
certain  section  of  the  Governors  that  they  had  an  excep- 
tional man  as  Headmaster.  Almost  all  my  father's  most 
valuable  reforms  were  carried  out  in  the  face  of  continued 
opposition  on  the  part  of  certain  Governors.  However,  I 
never  heard  my  father  express  anything  but  the  most 
cordial  gratitude  for  the  sympathy  and  support  which  the 
Prince  of  Wales  and  the  Duke  of  Cambridge  invariably 
gave  him  :  I  often  heard  my  father  say  that  intended 
opposition  among  the  Governors  had  often  been  averted 
by  the  Prince  of  Wales  saying,  "  I  think,  gentlemen, 
that  this  is  eminently  a  matter  which  we  must  leave 
entirely  to  the  discretion  of  the  Headmaster." 

At  the  end  of  his  time  at  Wellington  an  incident 
occurred  which  left  a  very  painful  impression  on  my  father's 
mind,  and  which  increased  his  desire  to  accept  any  ade- 
quate sphere  of  action  that  might  be  offered  him. 

In  1872  a  grave  moral  delinquency  was  discovered  by 
one  of  the  tutors,  affecting  the  character  of  three  boys:  the 
Headmaster  acted  promptly,  and  on  his  own  authority 
requested  the  parents  to  remove  the  boys.  This  was  done, 
but  the  parents  of  two  of  the  boys,  on  the  ground  that  the 
offence  had  occurred  in  the  holidays,  brought  the  question 
before  the  Governors,  who  discussed  the  matter,  and 
requested  the  Headmaster  to  reinstate  the  boys.  The 
Headmaster  drew  up  a  Memorandum  on  the  subject,  and 
consulted  the  Headmasters  of  some  of  the  leading  public 
schools,  who  all  pronounced  unhesitatingly  in  his  favour  ; 
the  letters  from  these  Headmasters  were  printed  in  an 
appendix  to  the  Memorandum,  which  concluded  by  saying 
that  the  Headmaster  could  not  reconsider  his  determination, 

B.  I.  23 

354         RESIGNATION    OF   HEADMASTERSHIP     aet.  43 

but  that  the  Governors  could  of  course  employ  their 
superior  authority  in  the  matter ;  my  father  intended,  if 
they  persisted,  to  resign  his  position;  but  the  Memorandum 
was  absolutely  conclusive,  and  the  Governors  reversed  their 
previous  decision.  Still  their  original  action  shook  my 
father's  confidence,  and  I  think  was  one  of  the  determining 
causes  which  decided  him  to  accept  the  Bishop  of  Lincoln's 
offer  of  a  Canon ry. 

The  first  person  at  Wellington  College  to  be  told  of 
the  offer  was  my  father's  attached  friend,  Mr  Penny. 
His  account  of  the  interview  is  as  follows  : — 

On  the  morning  of  the  last  day  of  term,  he  sent  for  me 
suddenly  to  go  to  his  house  about  10  a.m.  I  did  not  find  him 
in  his  Study,  and  on  enquiry  was  shown  upstairs  to  his  dressing- 
room,  where  he  sat  at  a  table  covered  with  papers.  I  little 
expected  the  cause  of  his  summoning  me  and  rather  wondered 
at  his  receiving  me  where  he  did.  I  was  not  long  left  in  doubt. 
He  asked  me  to  sit  down  and  then  said  simply :  "I  have  sent 
for  you  to  tell  you  that  I  am  going  to  leave  Wellington."  "Leave 
Wellington?"  I  cried.  "  Impossible!"  He  went  on  quite  calmly — 
"  The  Bishop  of  Lincoln  has  offered  me  the  Chancellorship  of  his 
Cathedral  and  I  have  accepted  it.  I  shall  cease  to  be  Head- 
master here  after  next  Midsummer  term."  It  was  a  bolt  out 
of  the  blue  and  I  was  stunned.  At  first  I  hung  my  head  and 
could  say  nothing.  I  could  not  restrain  my  tears  which  fell 
profusely  in  spite  of  every  effort  on  my  part  to  keep  them  back. 
As  I  sat  weeping  before  him,  he  rose  from  his  chair  and  coming 
across  to  where  I  sat,  kissed  me  on  the  forehead  in  silence. 
At  last  I  found  words  to  speak.  "Are  you  sure,"  said  I,  "that 
you  have  done  right  in  accepting  this  Canonry  ?  You  are  worth 
a  great  deal  more  than  this.  Ought  you  to  leave  Wellington  for 
anything  except  a  Deanery  ?  I  should  have  liked  to  see  you  a 
Bishop,  but  that  I  know  you  want  rest  sadly  and  that  you  would 
get  as  a  Dean.  It  is  sure  to  come  if  you  will  only  wait.  Besides," 
I  added,  "  have  you  considered  the  matter  financially  ?  You  have 
only  just  succeeded  in  attaining  to  your  proper  income  here  as 
Headmaster  after  all  these  years  of  work — ^2,000  a  year — and 
you  are  going  to  sacrifice  one-half  of  that  by  going  to  a  Canonry 


at  Lincoln  just  at  the  time  when  Martin  and  Arthur's  education 
will  cost  you  every  penny  you  can  spare."  But  it  was  of  course  of 
no  use  saying  anything.  He  had  counted  the  cost  and  his  mind 
was  made  up.     So  I  ceased  troubling  him. 

At  12  we  all  assembled  in  the  Sixth  Form  Class-room  and 
Benson  repeated  to  his  ^Assistant  Masters  the  announcement  he 
had  previously  made  to  me.  The  majority  of  men  fortunately  are 
not  so  emotional  as  some  of  us,  but  the  sudden  and  unexpected 
nature  of  his  communication  did  not  leave  us  much  opportunity 
for  expression  of  feeling.  Eve,  as  [Senior  Assistant  Master, 
endeavoured  to  say  something,  and  Carr  added  a  few  words. 
The  rest  of  us,  so  far  as  I  remember,  said  nothing ;  and  when 
Carr  had  finished  we  all  rose  up  in  silence,  shook  hands  with 
Benson,  and  went  our  way. 

He  was  installed  at  Lincoln  on  Innocents'  Day,  1872, 
and  thus  described  the  ceremony  : — 

To  his   Wife. 


Innocents'  Day,   1872. 
Most  dearest  Wife, 

So  the  day  which  makes  life  begin  anew  is  come  and 
gone.  It  leaves  me  with  a  great  sense  of  peace  and  rest  and  a 
trust  that  peace  and  rest  may  strengthen  you  too  for  whatever 
duties  may  be  before  us.  I  cannot  well  see  what  they  are  in 
detail,  and  even  in  shadow  they  are  dim.  But  I  still  feel  sure 
that  He  who  has  unfolded  duty  by  duty  hitherto  will  show  yet 
undiscerned  circle  within  circle  of  service. 

There  was  a  sad  void  in  your  absence.  Sunday  at  Riseholme 
with  all  its  lovingness  and  quietness,  but  oh  !  my  dear,  that  you 
were  with  me  in  body  as  well  as  in  spirit.  I  don't  quite  know 
what  to  choose  to  tell  you  first,  but  I  think  you  will  like  to  hear 
of  the  service. 

The  service  was  first  my  Institution,  reading  aloud  the  oaths  to 
a  large  congregation — large  for  the  Cathedral, — and  having  the 
Bishop's  Prayers  and  Blessing.  Then  to  the  Chapter  House 
where  I  presented  the  Bishop's  Mandates  to  the  Dean  who  was 
assembled  with  the  other  canons  and  no  less  than  16  prebendaries. 
Then  I  was  invested  and  received  the  Gospels.  Then  came  a  to 
me  as  you  may  suppose  most  touching  part  of  the  service — I  was 


356  INSTALLATION   AT   LINCOLN  aet.  43 

brought  in  in  procession  by  the  Chapter  and  Choir,  led  up  to  the 
alcove  and  then  was  desired  to  kneel  in  front  of  it  and  pray  in 
silence.  I  did.  They  all  stood  round  and  I  hope  prayed  silently 
too  for  a  faithful  spirit  for  their  new  brother. 

Then  I  rose  and  declared  I  would  be  ever  faithful  to  the 
Blessed  Virgin  Mary  of  Lincoln.  Then  I  was  led  down  to  my 
Cancellarius-stall  and  placed  in  it  with  a  prayer,  versicles  and 
responses,  by  the  Dean.  Then  I  had  to  say  half  of  the  Lord's 
Prayer  and  the  Chapter  said  the  other  half.  Then  there  was  a 
beautiful  Collect.  Then  Evensong  of  Innocents'  Day.  Then 
again  in  procession  to  Chapter  House  where,  while  the  Psalm 
Ecce  quam  bonum  was  sung  most  beautifully  by  the  Choir,  I 
went  round  taking  every  Prebendary  by  the  right  hand — and  last 
was  shown  my  seat  in  Chapter  at  the  left  hand  of  the  Dean. 
And  so  ended  the  Installing  of  the  new  Chancellor  whom  I  do 
not  yet  recognise  in  myself.  To-morrow  there  is  a  Chapter 
meeting  and  I  fancy  some  serious  business  to  begin  with.  While 
I  am  thus  vainly  telling  you  the  door  of  dignity  which  leads  to  the 
room  of  responsibility,  I  may  tell  you  that  the  announcement  of 
my  election  to  the  Headmaster  committee  was  received  to  my 
amazement  with  some  clapping.  So  I  have  enough  work  cut  out 
till  August  next  and  can  only  pray  for  strength,  courage,  spirit, 
and  the  endless  comfort  of  your  sweetness  and  love  to  make  me 
fit  to  do  such  work.  I  am  puzzled  when  I  think  of  it  all,  but 
I  know  my  own  way  of  working.  It's  not  a  grand  way.  The 
grand  way  seems  to  be  the  analytical  where  you  frame  great 
comprehensive  conceptions  and  thence  deduce  what  particular 
things  you  ought  to  do.  But  the  only  way  I've  been  able  to  work 
is  prosy,  it  is  the  systematic,  as  Chris  and  his  Germans  would  say. 
I'm  obliged  to  see  what  there  is  near  for  me  to  turn  my  hands  to, 
and  then  the  next  thing,  and  so  one  comes  up  last  of  all  to  the 
general  group  and  perhaps  never  sees  what  it  is.  I  see  plenty  of 
such  businesses  now  awaiting  anyone  who  likes  to  work. 

Dearest  love, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

The  last  Speech  Day  came  round  ;  Mr  Penny  writes : 

Dr'  Benson  proposed  the  toast  of  the  Governors  and  the  Duke 
of  Wellington  responded  and  proposed  "  the  toast  of  the  day — the 
'  He  took  his  D.D.  degree  in  1867. 

1873  THE    LAST   SPEECH-DAY  357 

health  of  Dr  Benson."  Our  Vice-President  was  always  a  halting 
speaker — but  on  this  occasion  he  outdid  himself  in  incoherency, 
hesitation  and  bathos.  Then  Benson  returned  thanks  and  pro- 
posed the  health  of  his  successor — and  Mr  Wickham  replied. 
The  proceedings  closed  with  short  speeches  from  Sir  John 
Pakington,  the  Bishop  of  Hereford  and  Mr  Walter,  who  remarked, 
"  lisdem  artibtis  servabitur  imperiuni,  quibus  acquiritur." 

As  they  walked  away  from  the  luncheon  tent  to  the  Master's 
Lodge,  the  Duke  of  Wellington,  sensible  of  his  failure  to  do  justice 
by  his  eloquence  to  the  occasion  of  Benson's  last  Speech  Day, 
linked  his  arm  in  Benson's  and  looking  up  earnestly  in  his  face, 
said — "  Made  a  hash  of  it — knew  I  should.  Always  do.  But  I 
really  did  try  to  say  something  this  tinie.  This  is  what  I  meant  to 
say.  When  the  money  was  subscribed  for  a  Memorial  after  my 
father's  death,  I  and  my  family  hoped  that  there  would  be  a  fine 
monument  set  up  in  his  memory  in  every  considerable  town  in 
England.  And  you  can  fancy  what  our  feelings  were  when  we 
found  that  it  was  all  going  to  be  lumped  together  and  a  Charity 
School  built  with  it  where  scrubby  little  orphans  would  be 
maintained  and  educated  like  the  Bluecoat  School  in  London. 
What  good  would  that  have  been  to  us  or  to  them?  By  great 
good  fortune  the  Governors  found  you  and  made  you  the  first 
Headmaster  and  yoti  have  made  the  College  what  it  is — not 
a  mere  Charity  School — but  one  of  the  finest  Public  Schools  in 
England — and  I  and  my  family  are  more  than  content  with  the 
result.  There  " — digging  Benson  hard  in  the  ribs  with  his  elbow — - 
"  that's  my  speech — that's  what  I  meant  to  have  said  and  so  I  say 
it  to  you.  But  Lord,  when  I  stood  up  to  speak  it  all  ran  out  at 
my  heels." 

To  Dr  J  ex-Blake,  then  Principal  of  CheltenJiam  College, 
on  leaving   Wellington   College. 

7  Jan.  1873. 
My  dear  Jex-Blake, 

I  did  not  properly  see  you  at  Birmingham  to  thank 
you  for  your  letter  of  congratulation,  and  to  tell  you  how  very 
greatly  my  pleasure  at  working  on  the  Committee  of  Head 
Masters  would  be  damped  by  my  not  working  with  you  there. 
I  intended  also  to  protest  against  your  speaking  of  my  Lincoln 
work  as  likely  to  be  "  more  congenial "  to  me,  which   it  would 

358  LETTERS— CHANGE    OF   WORK  aet.  43 

not  have  occurred  to  me  to  do,  but  for  your  having  made  a 
precisely  parallel  statement  (which  you  see  has  rankled)  when 
last  I  saw  you  at  Cheltenham.  Nothing  can  ever  be  more 
congenial  to  me  than  living  with  boys  and  talking  to  them 
morning,  noon  and  night  of  scholarship  and  its  applications.  It 
is  with  them  that  I  feel  really  alive  and  on  fire,  and  I  much  fear 
that  life  and  heat  will  sink  down  when  I  part  from  them.  My 
work  of  late  years  for  Wellington  has  begun  long  before  early 
lesson,  and  ended  oftener  past  than  before  midnight.  Anything 
else  that  has  occupied  me  has  been  matter  of  mimites  in  the  week, 
and  would  never  have  been  done  except  for  the  additional  zest 
which  it  has  always  thrown  into  my  school  work.  However 
my  successor  will  tell  you  more  properly  than  I  what  I  bequeath 
him  to  do,  and  unless  he  possesses  the  wonderful  health  and 
spirits  with  which  God  has  blessed  me,  your  first  advice  to  him 
will  be  to  get  rid  of  one  third  of  it.  That  the  second  head- 
master might  do,  but  not  the  first.  Congenial,  the  new  work 
will,  I  trust,  be,  through  God's  blessing,  for  here  I  have  not 
ceased  to  care  about  Worship  and  Architecture,  though  my  books 
on  such  subjects  have  been  long  closed  to  me,  and  what  is 
infinitely  more,  my  whole  spiritual  being  needs  to  be  brought 
out  of  the  depth  into  which  grind  and  worldly  forces  have 
banished  it,  and  to  be  bathed  in  prayer  and  God's  Word.  Not 
for  myself,  but  (I  pray  God,  and  entreat  you  to  pray  for  me  that 
it  may  be  so)  for  others.  But  more  congenial  to  me  never  can 
be  anything  than  my  "  Beautiful  Flock "  were. 

Ever  yours  affectionately, 

E.  W,  Benson. 

To  Professor  Lig/iifoot,  on   Cathedral  life. 

I  April.,  1 8  73. 


The  Cathedral  life  looks  greyer  on  a  nearer  view. 
And  this  life  and  this  country  of  course  full  of  freshness  and 
beauty.  And  my  Sixth  has  been  so  changing  and  rising  in  work 
and  interest  that  the  approaching  parting  is  rising  to  Agony  Point. 
I  am  ashamed  to  be  needing  assurances  that  I  have  done 
right.  Yet  I  believe  it,  though  the  view  grows  dim.  My  in- 
capacity for  affecting  men,  the  impossibility  of  sustaining  sermons 
which  will  affect  men,  for  one  who  has  lived  and  thought  till  he 


is  grey  upon  a  boyish  level,  becomes  appalling  to  me  as  one's 
heart's  desire  becomes  an  every  day  possession  by  degrees. 
Bear  with  an  old  friend's  moans  and  come  and  enlighten  my 
understanding  of  the  position.  Do  you  think  B.  F.  W.  will 
come  to  us  even  for  a  day  or  two  ?     I  am  afraid  of  boring  him. 

Yours  ever  affectionately, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

To  E.  F.  Edwardes,  Esq.,  on  the  founding  of  a  Benson 
Scholarship  at  Wellington  College  by  old  Welling- 
tonians  as  a  Memorial  of  the  first  Headmaster. 

Wellington  College. 

fdy  7,  1873. 
My  dear  Edwardes, 

I  should  have  been  well  content  to  leave  Wellington 
in  its  healthy  happy  order,  without  receiving  from  those  whom 
I  love  more  than  I  can  ever  love  other  people,  and  of  whose 
regard  I  shall  be  always  more  sure  than  of  anyone's,  anything 
beyond  the  assurance  that  they  are  satisfied;  and  that  they  are 
proud  of  the  place  which,  by  God's  guiding  and  not  by  mine, 
has  come  to  be  what  it  is. 

But,  since  you  will  have  it  otherwise — so  be  it.  What  makes 
me  intensely  happy  is  to  feel  that  my  boys — for  I  am  afraid  I 
must  go  on  calling  you  so — know  me  as  well  as  your  letter  shows 
that  they  do.  Infinitely  more  than  any  personal  present  I  value 
such  a  permanent  gift  to  the  College  (in  the  form  in  which  it  is 
most  wanted)  as  a  Scholarship  for  Ancient  Literature  or  Divinity. 
And  although  I  ought  to  be,  and  shall  be,  perfectly  content  to 
know  that  my  life  and  work  are  merged,  as  they  have  been  in 
the  College,  living  only  in  its  life,  still  no  honour  could  be  so 
dear  to  me  as  the  lasting  connection  of  my  name  (if  it  were 
sanctioned  by  the  Governors)  with  this  most  noble  place. 

Thank  you,  my  dear  Edwardes,  exceedingly  for  the  welcome 
kindness  of  your  own  letter  and  expressions. 

Believe  me, 

Always  most  sincerely  yours, 

E.  W.  Benson. 

36o  LAST    DAYS   AT   WELLINGTON  aet.  44 

There  was  much  to  settle  in  the  last  month  or  two. 
Mr  Penny  says  : — 

Finally  as  an  exhortation  to  all  succeeding  Headmasters  he 
had  carved  over  the  door  in  the  porch  of  the  Master's  Lodge 
which  opened  into  his  study  the  motto 


and  over  the  corresponding  doorway  leading  into  the  College  by 
which  he  himself  passed  every  morning  to  his  lesson  with  the  Sixth 
Form,  and  which  is  used  by  most  of  the  boys  coming  off  the  Turf 
from  their  games,  he  caused  to  be  inscribed  : 

"The  Path  of  Duty  is  the  Way  to  Glory." 

The  door  has  ever  since  been  known  as  the  Path-of-Duty  door ; 
but  I  fear  that  very  few  of  the  boys  who  so  call  it  have  any  idea 
why  it  was  so  called  or  where  the  quotation  comes  from. 

I  very  well  remember  the  last  Sunday  at  Wellington  : 
in  the  morning  my  father  preached  his  valedictory 
sermon  on  "  esteeming  the  reproach  of  Christ  greater 
riches  than  the  treasures  of  Egypt"  (Heb.  xi.  26).  The 
peroration,  one  of  his  most  beautiful  and  stately  writings, 
may  be  quoted  here. 

And  now  farewell.  It  has  been  given  to  me  to  watch  for 
fifteen  years  God's  wonderful  work,  and  I  thank  and  praise  Him 
for  all  I  have  seen.  You  will  pray  for  me  too  that  the  years  may 
be  in  no  sense  lost  to  me :  for  I  have  seen  a  new  growth  in 
England,  organic,  spiritual,  healthful,  abiding.  Its  material 
nobleness  is  visible — pray  that  its  invisible  power  be  nobler  far : 
great  buildings  and  new  homes  have  clustered  here ;  the  bare 
brown  plateau  has  verdured  with  the  soothing  beauty  and  the 
mighty  promise  of  trees  and  flowers;  books — the  strength,  the 
grace,  the  wisdom,  the  holiness  of  humanity — giving  us  the  com- 
munity of  minds  which  answers  to  our  yet  higher  community  of 
spirits — have  streamed  through  my  hands  to  the  Library,  valued 
by  you  each  year  more  and  more,  and  to  be  still  more  valued,  I 
know,  as  the  generations  of  the  school  grow  on.  The  adornings 
of  art  have  been  liberally  bestowed  on  us  in  our  short  life : 
sacred  arts  picturing  the  great  Acts  and  the  great  Sons  of  the 

i873  THE   MASTER'S   FAREWELL  361 

Holy  Spirit  ^  Who  has  moved  dove-Hke  from  the  beginning  over 
first  the  chaos  of  man's  Hfe,  and  then  over  each  province  of 
expanding  Hfe  as  it  arose  out  of  the  dark.  Some  are  memories 
of  our  own  brothers,  some  of  our  great  Fathers  in  the  Faith  ^ ;  all 
assert  our  undying  union  with  the  good,  who  sleep  in  the  faith 
and  hope  of  Christ. 

Far  above  all  material  enrichment,  I  have  seen  the  touching 
sight  of  youth  and  childhood  gathering  around  us,  partly  conscious 
of  ignorance,  ready  to  learn,  tremulously  anxious  to  do  right,  to 
please  the  parents  who  surrendered  them  to  us,  or  to  honour 
a  dead  father's  name :  I  have  seen,  too,  though  more  rarely,  the 
more  touching  sight  of  ignorance,  ignorant  of  its  ignorance,  of  its 
weakness,  and  of  its  danger,  fearing  discipline  and  not  being  a  law 
unto  itself;  they  have  been  brought  twt  to  us.  I  have  seen  them 
"brought  unto  Jesus,  and  He  has  touched  them."  And  how  can 
I  thank  God  for  His  works  of  grace,  for  the  unfolding  of  high 
principle,  and  the  expansion  of  strength  and  the  kindling  of 
Christian  fire  ?  for  such  a  power  there  has  been  in  our  prefectural 
order — the  Lord  increase  it  evermore.  And  I  speak  with 
diffidence,  and  I  speak  with  reverence,  of  the  nearer  counsel  and 
goodness  that  has  been  by  my  side ;  no  one  has  ever  come  to 
help  me  without  some  true  touch  of  devotion  to  the  high  cause, 
some  with  an  enthusiasm  and  a  patience  and  a  self-forgetting  that 
leaves  you  and  me  for  ever  their  debtors,  and  their  reward  is 
not  here. 

Thus  for  fifteen  years  I  have  laboured,  often  in  most  salutary 
trouble,  yet  with  ever-increasing  happiness.  The  trouble  is  gone 
like  a  shadow.  The  happiness  cannot  be  taken  away.  I  have 
seen  you  all  come  here ;  everyone  who  labours  or  is  laboured  for 
has  been  welcomed  here  by  me.  I  have  seen  near  a  thousand 
men  go  away  to  labour  in  their  turn  where  and  as  duty  summoned 
and  God  ordained.  And  now  I  go  myself.  I  came  to  the 
newest  educational  and  spiritual  work  in  England,  bidden  to 
shape  it.  I  go  away  to  the  most  ancient.  Here  I  have  made 
rules  for  others  :  I  go  to  strive  to  conform  myself  to  rule.  Here 
I  have  served  the  memory  of  him  who  snapped  the  yoke  that  was 
laid  on  modern  Europe :  I  go  now  to  serve  memories  that  are 

^  The  Chapel  dedicated  to  the  Holy  Ghost ;  the  windows  representing  in 
series  Scriptural  events  ascribed  to  the  Holy  Spirit,  and  periods  of  Church 
History  and  Life. 

-  The  mosaics  of  the  Apse. 

362  THE    MASTER'S    FAREWELL  aet.  44 

green  still,  though  they  budded  when  Norman  strove  with  Saxon, 
ere  Saxon  had  done  his  strife  with  Briton,  Nor  can  I  now 
forbear  one  thought,  for  it  is  forced  on  me :  if  ever  we  are 
disposed  to  contrast  bygone  ages  unfavourably  with  our  own,  we 
may  ask  ourselves  whether  we  think  the  systems  we  have 
arranged,  the  wheels  we  have  just  seen  begin  to  turn,  will  run 
as  freely,  will  work  as  adaptably  to  the  needs  of  seven  hundred 
years  to  come,  as  the  great  institution  of  the  past  moves  now 
when  seven  hundred  years  have  passed  over  it,  age  after  age, 
ready  to  become  young  again  ?  Yes,  we  may  say — if  ours  too 
is  built  on  humanity's  best,  on  a  true  perception  of  humanity's 
needs,  on  a  devout  humility  and  eager  acceptance  of  God's 
work  in  man  and  through  man.  But  not  otherwise ;  not  if  we 
mistake  troubled  rills  for  fountains,  and  seek  our  immortality  on 
earth,  and  hold  doubt  to  be  more  wise  and  strong  than  faith. 

If  we  build  into  the  same  building  and  trust  the  same 
corner-stone,  we  shall  stand  like  them  and  share  their  strength : 
for  life  is  one  and  indivisible,  and  so  shall  we  be  part  of  the 
Living  Temple  of  God. 

So  shall  your  hearts  beat  strong  with  energy,  yet  be  cool 
through  self-restraint ;  and  your  work  be  wrought  with  diligence 
and  rendered  with  cheerfulness  ;  and  your  faces  be  bright  with 
modesty,  yet  bold  with  frankness ;  and  the  grasp  of  your  hands 
be  firm  and  generous.  For  you  will  be  men.  You  will  seek 
Purity,  that  the  souls  and  bodies  you  offer  to  those  you  love  and 
to  all-seeing  God  may  be  white  and  unspotted ;  Truth,  that  your 
speech  may  be  simple  and  clear ;  Love,  that  your  friendships 
may  be  sound,  and  that  the  brotherhood  of  men  may  be  to  you 
no  shadow.  But  that  these  things  may  be,  you  must  fix  eye  and 
heart  unflinchingly  on  Christ  and  His  Reproach ;  you  must  adore 
it,  you  must  achieve  it,  for  there  is  no  treasure  like  the  Reproach 
of  Christ,  understood  and  loved  and  lived. 

Young  as  I  was  it  affected  me  almost  to  tears  :  and 
there  were  many  wet  eyes  in  chapel.  After  the  evening 
service — it  was  a  hot  summer  night  with  sharp  little 
restless  gusts  of  wind — the  school  waited  in  the  Quad- 
rangle to  say  goodbye  to  him  :  contrary  to  the  ordinary 
usage  at  schools,  it  was  the  custom  at  Wellington  for  the 
Headmaster  to  remain  in  his  stall  till  the  boys  had  all 

i873  GOODBYE  363 

gone  out,  and  then  lead  the  masters  out ;  he  waited  for  us, 
my  mother,  brothers  and  myself,  in  the  antechapel,  where 
he  shook  hands  silently  with  several  of  his  old  colleagues. 
The  whole  of  the  cloister  was  lined  with  boys,  many  of 
whom  put  out  their  hands  silently  to  be  shaken.  My 
father  walked  along  with  quick  steps,  his  surplice  and 
hood  swayed  by  the  wind  which  blew  in  through  the 
grilles  of  the  cloister,  his  face  streaming  with  tears.  In 
the  court  he  was  cheered  by  a  crowd  of  boys ;  he  smiled 
and  waved  his  hand  ;  at  the  door  by  the  Master's  library 
leading  out  towards  the  Lodge,  as  he  unlocked  it,  a 
number  of  Prefects  who  were  gathered  there  pressed 
forwards.  "  Goodbye,  my  dear,  dear  fellows,"  he  said  falter- 
ingly ;  and  as  we  went  out  into  the  dusk  I  remember  a 
cry  of  "  God  bless  you,  sir." 



'■'•Dixit  minquani  se  minus  otiosum  esse,  qiiam  cum  otiosus." 


The  Chancery  at  Lincoln  is  one  of  the  most  beautiful 
houses  it  has  ever  been  my  lot  to  live  in.  It  shows  a 
rather  inconspicuous  front  of  Tudor  red-brick  on  the 
street,  with  a  large  oriel  window,  and  a  great  double 
door  of  ancient  oak,  in  which  we  found  embedded  the 
bullets  of  the  Commonwealth.  You  enter  a  long  low  hall 
from  which  a  staircase  leads  up  to  a  stately  lobby ;  this 
admits  to  a  beautiful  panelled  drawing-room  overlooking 
the  Close,  and  haunted  by  a  tapping  ghost.  In  the  corner 
of  the  drawing-room  is  an  ancient  winding  stair  with 
pentacles  on  the  steps  to  ward  off  devils.  The  house  is 
very  large,  so  large  that  my  brother  and  I  were  given  a 
sitting-room,  called  Bee  by  my  father,  after  Anthony  de 
Bee,  one  of  his  famous  predecessors  and  afterwards  the 
military  Bishop  of  Durham.  The  house  extends  far  back 
from  the  Close :  there  is  a  part  of  a  fifteenth-century  screen 
of  oak  in  the  wall  of  what  was  our  schoolroom,  formerly 
the  chapeP :  there,  too,  an  awmry  was  discovered  on 
removing  the  wall-paper  :  a  hagioscope  from  what  was  the 

1  Canon  Leeke  made  further  discoveries,  including  a  piscina,  in  1899. 

1873-1877  THE   CHANCERY  365 

solar ;  and  by  the  servants'  hall  there  are  three  ancient 
fourteenth-century  arches  that  led  from  the  buttery  into 
the  hall,  now  in  great  part  demolished.  At  the  back  there 
are  large  stables  and  lofts,  a  granary  and  a  coach-house, 
all  belonging  to  the  time  when  Chancellor  Pretyman,  who 
held  several  other  preferments,  lived  at  Lincoln  in  such 
state  that,  an  old  resident  told  us,  a  footman  stood  behind 
the  chair  of  every  guest  at  dinner.  Secularity  had  been, 
until  the  days  of  Chancellor  Massingberd,  whom  my  father 
succeeded,  almost  a  note  of  the  office.  A  former  Chancellor 
had  been  seen,  when  in  residence,  to  hurry  from  the 
Cathedral  after  Morning  Service,  throw  his  surplice  to  his 
valet  and  drive  off  in  a  post-chaise,  which  would  be 
standing  ready,  to  the  Doncaster  Races. 

My  father  greatly  improved  the  house ;  he  threw  two 
bedrooms  together  and  made  a  large  study  which  looked 
out  into  a  little  garden  with  an  ivy-clad  wall  beyond.  He 
filled  the  lobby  windows  with  stained  armorial  glass,  and 
he  fitted  up  a  room  over  the  porch  as  a  tiny  chapel,  with 
some  beautiful  stained  glass  windows  given  by  his  friend 
Canon  Wickenden,  which  are  now  bequeathed  to  the 
Library  at  Lambeth.  Here  we  had  prayers  morning  and 
evening,  using,  on  Wednesdays  and  Fridays,  a  Litany 
translated  by  my  father  himself  from  the  Greek,  and  in 
the  evenings  a  simple  form  of  Compline. 

Behind  the  house  was  a  small  lawn  with  thickets  of 
elders  ;  but  a  passage  under  the  granary  admits  you  to 
a  garden  about  an  acre  in  extent,  with  a  great  wealth 
of  flowers  and  fruit  trees.  On  one  side  it  was  skirted 
by  the  high  ancient  Close  wall,  of  stone  mingled  with 
brick,  thick-set  with  peaches  and  apricots,  and  fringed  with 
wild  golden  wallflowers  at  the  top ;  and  in  two  of  the 
corners  of  the  garden  were  stone  towers,  belonging  to  the 
old  fortifications,  one  of  which  my  father  repaired,  and  made 

366  THE   CHANCERY   GARDEN  aet.  44-47 

it  a  delicious  place  to  ascend  and  breathe  the  summer 
breezes.  A  postern  below  it  admits  you  into  streets  of 
blind  garden-walls  which  lead  to  the  quiet  Greetwell 
Fields ;  and  there  was  another  entrance  for  carriages 
further  down  the  Close. 

My  father  caused  to  be  dug  away  a  great  quantity  of 
earth  which  had  accumulated  near  the  house,  and  found 
much  ancient  Roman  and  mediaeval  pottery,  coins  and 
tokens ;  he  planted  yew  hedges  and  made  the  place  very 
lovely ;  but  we  lived  with  the  utmost  simplicity,  had  no 
horse  or  carriage,  and  only  maid-servants. 

An  ornament  of  the  outer  garden  was  a  large  stone 
sarcophagus,  rudely  made,  probably  British  or  Roman, 
which  my  father  bought  from  some  workmen  who  had 
found  it  in  the  Greetwell  Fields  in  a  gravel-pit,  and  were 
just  going  to  demolish.  It  contained  the  bones  of  two 
children,  buried  together. 

In  the  inner  garden  I  have  known  him  walk  for  hours 
together  in  his  cassock  reading  a  little  volume  of  Burke, 
or  pondering  over  the  notes  of  his  sermons,  which  were 
as  a  rule  extempore.  His  frequent  station  was  a  grassy 
mound  with  steep  sides  that  overlooked  the  whole  garden  : 
shaded  by  a  Service  tree,  and  overgrown  by  many  elder- 

We  had  at  Lincoln  an  old  white  Tom-cat,  called  by  my 
mother  Rector,  because  he  lived  well  and  discharged  his 
mousing  duties  by  deputy ;  he  became  wild  and  wicked, 
and  we  used  to  see  him,  a  dingy  grey  colour,  stalking  in  a 
melancholy  way  through  the  raspberry  bushes  while  we 
played  lawn-tennis.  At  last  he  broke  his  leg,  pined  away, 
and  was  destroyed.  He  was  buried  under  a  pear  tree 
which  sprawled  over  the  wall  that  shaded  the  lawn.  My 
father  wrote  the  following  inscription,  had  it  engraved 
in  capital  letters  on  slate,  and  put  it  up  in  the  wall.     I 

1873-1877  SETTLING   AT   LINCOLN  367 

believe  it  has  since  come   to    be   regarded   as   a  veritable 
antique : 

Hie  positus  Rector  hello  generosior  Hector 
Victo  mure  Catus  tamen  icto  crura  necatus 
Qui  servis  aris  sic  tu  recoli  merearis 
Sic  terrena  super  stes  alha  prole  superstes. 

We  lived  very  economically  at  Lincoln.  When  lawn- 
tennis  was  invented,  my  father  was  much  interested  in  the 
game,  and  made  us  play  it.  He  invented  curious  wooden 
bats,  I  imagine  infringing  all  patents,  and  we  marked  out 
the  court  with  tape  fastened  down  with  hairpins,  also  his 
device.  The  one  disadvantage  was  that  if  one  caught  one's 
foot  the  whole  construction  was  obliterated  in  a  moment. 
He  took  a  hand  himself  very  often,  but  was  an  ineffective 
player,  though  exceedingly  zealous. 

My  mother  was  ill  at  the  time  we  moved,  and  was 
much  away ;  I  shall  never  forget  a  walk  which  we  took 
with  my  father  when  we  had  got  the  house  fairly  straight. 
He  was  then  suffering  from  the  reaction  of  the  change, 
regretting  that  he  had  ever  given  up  Wellington,  feeling 
that  the  new  surroundings  would  never  suit  him,  and  in 
deep  depression.  We  went  all  down  the  long  High  Street 
of  Lincoln,  with  its  great  stone  archways.  Bars  properly 
called,  across  the  road,  and  the  quaint  towers  of  its  churches, 
St  Peter-at-Arches,  St  Peter-at-Gowts  and  the  rest.  On 
a  hill  near  Canwick  we  saw  what  seemed  to  be  a  fountain 
rising  in  great  jerks  into  the  air ;  we  went  off  to  explore 
this  and  found  at  last  that  it  was  the  white  sails  of  an 
unseen  windmill.  Then  we  turned,  and  the  glories  of 
Lincoln  burst  upon  us — Castle  and  Cathedral  in  all  their 
stately  glories  above  the  streaming  smoke  of  myriad 
chimneys.  My  father's  eyes  filled  with  tears  and  he 
said,  "Well,  we  must  try  to  live  up  to  that!" 

368  LETTERS— SETTLING  IN  aet.  44-47 

A  post-card  to  /lis    Wife. 

Sep.  1873. 

All  going  well.  Boys  very  industrious  and  happy.  The 
Precentory  a  grand  refuge.  Arrangements  are  very  complete  at 
the  Chancery;  there  is  a  man  to  make  dust,  and  a  man  to  burn 
paint  off  doors,  and  a  man  to  make  a  noise  with  a  hammer,  and 
a  man  to  throw  soot  at  the  books,  and  a  man  to  dig  for  tobacco 
pipes  in  the  garden,  and  a  man  to  splash  the  paper  with  paint, 
and  a  man  to  scrape  paint  off  with  a  knife,  and  a  boy  not  to 
fetch  or  carry,  and  rods  and  rings  not  to  fit,  and  carpets  not 
to  fit  also,  and  women  to  wet  the  floors,  and  several  men  to 
charge.  So  we  shall  not  be  ready  for  you  till  Friday,  if  then. 
And  yet  you  see  what  efforts  ! — and  I  fell  down  yesterday  and 
scratched  a  shilling's  worth  of  skin  off  my  elbow,  and  to-day 
made  a  two  shilling  hole  in  my  trouser  knee.  Baby  is  splendid 
and  so  dirty  and  so  happy.  When  Beth  says  she  is  surprised  and 
asks  if  he  is  not  he  says  "  No  "  in  a  highly  concerned  manner, 
and  emphatically  repeats  "No."  My  best  love  to  Nellie  and 
Maggie  and  thanks  for  their  letters  which  were  very  nice,  and  to 
old  Fred  and  Grannie. 

Beth  seems  to  like  everything. 

To  the  Rev.  J.  F.    Wickenden. 


I  am  beginning  to  look  on  the  months  hitherto  as  a  sort 
of  illness.  So  many  anxieties,  so  many  uncertainties,  so  many 
wonders  whether  one  had  done  rightly  or  quixotically.  Now 
as  one  gets  into  work,  clouds  drift  away. 

You  must  come  again  for  as  long  as  you  can  and  see  how  we 
have  got  over  our  moping  faces  and  resigned  meal-times.  If  you 
had  not  been  here  we  should  have  petrified. 

I  assure  you  the  renovation  of  an  old  house  is  far  newer 
than  a  new  house,  far  older  than  an  old  one.  Its  antiquity  is 
developed,  you  see,  and  the  new  is  so  very  new. 

As  for  ghosts,  they  like  it — they  get  bolder — they  rap  every 
night — while  we  are  all  talking  and  scrummaging  in  the  drawing- 
room,  they  notice  every  coming  in  and  going  out. 

I  am  at  this  moment  in  the  ridiculous  position  of  writing  at 
a  standing  desk,  in  the  presence  of  a  young  sculptor  who  has 
received  a  Commission  (why  capital  C  ?  military  association  ?)  from 
Mr  Willett  to  Bust  me. 

i873-i87r  NIGHT-SCHOOLS  369 

He  flung  himself  with  the  greatest  ardour  into  the 
work  at  Lincohi,  and  far  from  finding  himself  at  leisure 
for  literary  work,  he  was  busier,  he  said,  than  he  had  ever 
been  before.  He  started  a  Theological  College,  Cancellarii 
Scholae,  where  he  lectured,  assisted  by  his  dear  friend, 
Prebendary  Crowfoot*.  He  caused  to  be  restored  a  Chapel 
in  the  Cathedral  where  he  held  a  daily  early  Matins.  He 
had  a  little  Bible-Class  of  mechanics  from  Clayton  and 
Shuttleworth's,  and  Robey's  Works.  He  gave  Lenten 
Lectures  on  Church  History  in  the  Chapter  House,  and, 
with  some  trembling,  he  started  Night  Schools  in  the  city  ; 
but  rough  as  were  many  of  the  students  who  attended 
them,  his  personal  ascendency  carried  all  through. 

Canon  Crowfoot  writes  : — 

The  opening  of  the  Night  Schools  for  men  and  lads  in  the  city 
was  due  to  a  suggestion  made  by  Miss  S.  Wordsworth.  I  remember 
walking  down  on  the  first  night  with  the  Chancellor  and  a  few 
students,  thinking  it  possible  that  we  might  find  sixty  pupils.  To 
our  astonishment  when  we  came  in  sight  of  the  Central  School 
in  Silver  Street  we  found  the  street  blocked  with  working  men 
and  lads.  There  were  400  waiting  for  admittance.  As  soon  as 
the  doors  were  open  the  Chancellor  mounted  the  table  and  in 
stentorian  tones  shouted,  "All  over  40  years  old  go  to  such  a 
room,"  "All  over  30  to  another,"  and  so  in  an  incredibly  short 
time  the  mass  of  men  and  boys  was  roughly  sorted.  Then, 
thanks  to  the  extremely  efficient  help  of  Mr  Mantle^,  and  his  son 
Rev.  W.  Mantle,  simple  test  papers  in  writing  and  arithmetic 
were  set.  Classes  were  soon  formed,  and  order  throughout  the 
schools  was  introduced.  Their  after  success  was  largely  due  to 
the  help  given  by  Mr  Mantle  and  his  sons. 

Miss  Wordsworth  writes  : — 

The  Chancellor's  night  schools  proved  very  successful.  He 
enlisted  the  services  and  sympathy  of  many  of  the  residents  in 
support  of  them.     Two  old  ladies  however  who  were  somewhat 

^  In  July,  1898,  upon  the  death  of  Canon  Clements,  Subdean  of  Lincoln, 
Canon  Leeke,  who  succeeded  my  father,  accepted  the  Subdeanery,  and 
Canon  Crowfoot  was  appointed  to  the  vacant  Chancelloiship. 

-  Master  of  the  Cathedral  School  at  Lincoln. 

K.  I.  24 

370  BIBLE-CLASSES  aet.  44-47 

of  the  Cranfordian  type,  were  with  difficulty  induced  to  subscribe  : 
"  We  give  this  to  you,  Mr  Chancellor,"  said  the  elder  sister, 
"to  show  our  regard  for  you,  but  for  our  parts,  Patty  and  I 
prefer  an  ignorant  poor  J'' 

Professor  Mason  writes  : — 

One  time  that  I  was  with  him  at  Lincoln,  I  had  the  pleasure 
of  going  round  with  him  to  the  Night  Schools,  which  were  re- 
opening that  evening.  He  was  the  founder  of  them,  and  it  was 
delightful  to  see  the  way  in  which  he  was  received  wherever  he 
appeared  in  them.  He  had  a  large  Bible-Class  of  men  in 
connexion  with  them,  composed  of  all  sects.  He  began  to  read 
St  John's  Gospel  with  them,  by  their  own  choice,  if  I  remember 
right.  He  told  me  that  when  they  came  to  the  3rd  chapter, 
he  said  to  them,  "  Now  this  is  a  chapter  about  which  there  is 
a  good  deal  of  difference  of  opinion.  I  have  a  very  decided 
opinion  of  my  own  about  it ;  and  some  of  you  would  not  agree 
with  that  opinion  at  all.  So  on  the  whole  I  think  the  best  plan 
will  be  to  leave  the  chapter  out,  and  go  on  with  the  next."  Of 
course  the  consequence  was,  as  he  had  intended,  that  all  the 
Baptists  and  Methodists  were  most  anxious  to  have  the  3rd 
chapter;  and  Dr  Benson  was  delighted  at  the  way  in  which 
his  explanation  of  it  was  received. 

My  mother  reminds  me  that  in  his  first  speech  to  the 
Night  School  at  Lincoln  he  began,  "  Gentlemen — no, — 
Men  and  boys."  "And  nippers,"  called  out  a  voice  ("nipper" 
meaning  in  Lincolnshire  a  boy  of  about  15).  "  Men,  boys 
and  nippers,"  he  went  on  straight. 

The  men  who  composed  his  Bible-Class  were  delighted 
with  my  father's  prompt  and  outspoken  replies.  Not  less 
was  he  delighted  with  their  vigour  and  readiness  of  thought 
and  speech.  He  used  often  to  quote  how  on  one  occasion 
a  man  began  a  discussion  on  "Wealth"  by  saying,  "If  all 
the  money  in  the  world  were  to  be  equally  divided,  how 
long  would  it  remain  so  ? "  "  Not  long,"  said  another 
doubtfully:  "Not  three  minutes!"  said  the  original  speaker. 
On  one  occasion  the  Chancellor  illustrated  a  spiritual  truth 
by  quoting  some  mechanical  principle ;  the  men  made  him 

1873-1877     FRIENDSHIPS  WITH  WORKING  MEN  371 

in  their  own  time  and  at  their  own  expense  a  Httle  machine 
to  illustrate  this  more  effectively.  When  he  left  Lincoln 
these  same  men  made  him  a  set  of  dessert  dishes  out  of 
bronzed  metal  from  the  mines  of  Coleby,  procuring  the 
material  themselves  and  working  in  their  free  time.  This 
service  he  loved,  and  though  it  was  not,  artistically 
speaking,  very  beautiful,  there  were  few  days  on  which  it 
did  not  appear  on  the  dinner  table  for  the  rest  of  his  life. 

Of  my  father's  work  at  Lincoln,  in  the  town  and  among 
the  working-men,  Mr  Duncan  Mclnnes^  writes  : — 

The  qualitie